Keith Duncan to act as mediator in racing impasse
Keith Duncan

PRESIDENT of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica and long-time racehorse owner, Keith Duncan has accepted the role of mediator in the current impasse involving the promoting company of horse racing in Jamaica and the horsemen community.

The call by the horsemen for Duncan to act as mediator comes after the grouping asked for a minimum increase in purses of 10 per cent, which equates to approximately $70 million, from Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), the promoters of local racing. The horsemen community is made up primarily of owners, trainers, jockeys, and grooms.

SVREL responded in writing to the horsemen that the company would increase appearance fees, without commenting directly on the 10 per cent purse increase requested by the trainers.

Since receipt of SVREL's response, a meeting was held last week Thursday in which the horsemen threatened not to nominate horses for the upcoming Saturday (January 29), and Sunday (January 30) racecards and beyond.

Duncan played a pivotal role in 2020 to accommodate the restart of racing through a memorandum of understanding (MOU), after a three-month break due to COVID-19.

It is understood that Duncan's role as mediator was recommended by the horsemen group and was accepted by SVREL. Duncan's role as mediator is to provide advice and to work in achieving the continuity of racing.

Based on this new development is seems likely that nominations will take place today.

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