2nd April 2020
Dear Friends of the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club,
Having departed Kentucky in early February 2020 and journeyed to St. Lucia, I could have never imagined the two months that would follow. This letter serves a few purposes.
First, I want to introduce myself to you as the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club’s new Chief Operating Officer; second, I want to update you about our operations.
In all my years in the horse industry I have traveled my fair share, however as I left the Bluegrass State that cold and grey winter morning, my heart was overflowing with hope and expectations for the Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club, life here, and Racing in this place. But there was another element to my purpose.
I had done much due diligence on this company and her founding family. To put it another way, prior to leaping off the map, geographically, in what I earnestly desire to be my “last job”, I had to ask myself “what makes these people tick”? I felt a need for this vocation to not just be about horse racing in an island paradise. Life had afforded Elaine, my wife of 31 years, and my many years of breeding, raising, selling, and racing of thoroughbreds. These years came with many of the “lifestyle” trappings of the horse industry but what we truly sought was to make a difference with people too.
I choose to share our journey here simply to emphasize how our “first hand” discovery within this company has unearthed a mission for not just the shaping of the racing here, but also for the local people and their economic possibilities. There is no doubt that any business initiative that bears the size and scope of RSLTC, will incur its share of teething and growing pains. Following a sensationally successful maiden voyage last December, with our debut race meeting and the inaugural running of the Caribbean’s richest race, The Pitons Cup, please rest assured that we all, beginning with our Chairman at the very top, are completely committed to continuing to build this organization, and ultimately to achieving success at the highest level. This point of emphasis leads us to the elephant in the room – the coronavirus. As you know, as most racing venues around the world, our race meet is currently on hold. However, rest assured that we will return to competition as soon as we possibly can.
As “fear and trembling” from pending exposure to serious physical harm has permeated the whole world, we too, on this 24 x 14-mile island, have seen life as we once knew it, and have taken for granted for a lifetime, twist and turn into a place of unimaginable solitude and home confinement. Rest assured we strive each and every day as if on a circus high wire, to balance the Government of Saint Lucia regulations with the care of our horses and Club operations. We are also continuing to build and further shape our physical plant, though no doubt, progress has slowed in recent days.
Finally, I wholeheartedly request that you contact me anytime, over anything large or small, should you have a concern or request. My cell is +1-859-407 0051. I eagerly wait to assist you in the upcoming weeks and months, as we keep our eyes above, waiting for signs of light to glisten through the storm clouds we all face together at this very difficult time.
My prayers go out daily for us all. And we are grateful for yours. May God bless you and your family.
Royal Saint Lucia Turf Club Limited
BENJAMIN WALDEN Chief Operating Officer