Over the next three months local aspiring jockeys will have the opportunity to turn their dream into reality.
Under the theme “Galloping Ahead” Wednesday morning the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth in collaboration with the H.O.R.S.E. Charity, launched a jockey training project.
Starting from next week Monday the young jockeys will participate in training to help develop horse racing as their career. The training will include riding, care, saddling, removal of gear, nutrition, bandaging and first aid treatment. The participants will also be exposed to life skills and education exercises.
During a press conference at the Barbados Turf Club, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley said the project which will help expand the knowledge of young people in horse racing and care was an initiative by government to implement systems to address challenges confronting the youth.
“This programme is yet another strategy designed to tackle unemployment faced by a significant number of our young people. Throughout the Caribbean and the wider developing world, unemployment remains a very important challenge and a major concern and it is no different in Barbados,” he said.
Lashley explained that the Galloping Ahead project was a response to the demands of the labour market and had the capacity to create jobs. “The participants will be able to ply their new craft to exploit opportunities throughout CARICOM, North America and United Kingdom. This exercise provides opportunity for beneficiaries to earn a living locally or oversees, enhance their level of living and contribute significantly to the local economy.”
The minister added: “New jobs will have to be created, new opportunities will have to be provided in order for our economy to operate at the level we believe it should operate in. There have to be new dynamic ways in which we engage our young people, and I think this morning we have put our pulse on one of these areas,” Lashley said.
He encouraged the participants to make good use of the project. “Grab this opportunity with both hands and reap the benefits it has to offer. To achieve this your serious commitment is required, you are required to be punctual, regular in attendance, be on your best behaviour and heed the instructions of facilitators.”
Champion horse trainer in the 2017 Sandy Lane Gold Cup, Robert Pierce, who will be facilitating the project, told participants not to just limit themselves on being jockeys. “It is not all about becoming a jockey, not everybody is going to have jockey size. There can be exercise riders, grooms, assistant trainers, there are lots of opportunities and money to be made oversees,” he stated.