The prestigious Sandy Lane Gold Cup is here!
Just after 4 p.m. this afternoon, the gold trophy arrived at the Grantley Adams International Airport aboard British Airways flight BA2155.
While the flight was slightly delayed due to a medical emergency, the smiling faces of the crew who emerged first from the plane were evidence the prized trophy had landed.
Moments later it was eventually hoisted by Minister of the Creative Economy, Culture and Sports John King; Sandy Lane’s general manager Randall Wilkie and Rawle Batson, Director at the Barbados Turf Club.
In his brief address in the Grace Adam Suite shortly after, King thanked captain Michael Smillie for safely delivering the Gold Cup.
The minister said the event had grown to become one of the biggest horse races in the Caribbean, which had helped to boost the country’s profile.
“I wish to acknowledge the immense contribution to the Sandy Lane Gold Cup race to the development of horseracing in Barbados and to positioning Barbados on the international stage for horseracing. This event, arguably the most prestigious race in the region, has been an excellent platform for our local owners, jockeys, trainers and grooms over the years.
“It has redounded to the Barbadian sports persons dominating many of the Barbados Gold Cup races, of whom have gone on to excel in the international arena and have established Barbados as a place that is synonymous with horse racing,” King said.
“In welcoming the Sandy Lane Gold Cup trophy to Barbados we are signalling the arrival of another much anticipated extravaganza at our historic Garrison Savannah.”
The minister said what made this year’s event special was its coinciding with the Vision 2020 WeGatherin’.
King also lauded the Sandy Lane Hotel for its “significant contribution and commitment to the Barbados Gold Cup over the past 23 years”.
Wilkie too acknowledged that the event had grown to become a highly acclaimed and anticipated international event viewed by thousands across the world.
He also pointed to the establishment of the Sandy Lane Charitable Trust, which he revealed had disbursed in excess of $50 million to fund children’s medical and educational expenses, as another example of the five-star’s hotel investment in Barbados.
“Each year we must also acknowledge and thank the owners of Sandy Lane for their continued commitment and investment to the Barbados Gold Cup and countless charitable contributions,” Wilkie noted.
“Their love of Barbados is evident throughout all their endeavours…”
The Sandy Lane Gold Cup runs off on March 7.