Since 1845: How many jockey & horse injuries & deaths at The Garrison?

Patrick Husbands says Jockeys afraid to ride at The Garrison – Barbados

During a recently called media conference Superstar Bajan jockey Patrick Husbands stated his opinion that the track at The Garrison is “too small”. Husbands stated that the track is dangerous and some jockeys refuse to ride there because of this.

Now folks, Mr. Husbands is probably one of the best jockeys that Barbados has produced in the past 150 years or so – so we should listen carefully when he speaks.

But we should also be aware that Mr. Husbands might not have come forward with this statement on his own and that there might be other agendas afoot from the same bunch of elites that were just given $19 million in public funds by the Thompson DLP government.

Our questions for Mr. Husbands & the Barbados Turf Club:

-How many jockey and horse injuries and deaths have happened at the Garrison since racing began there in 1845?

-How many jockey and horse injuries and deaths in the last ten years? Five years?

-How many are attributable to the “small” track as opposed to the nature of horse racing itself?

-How does the rate of horse & jockey injuries at The Garrison compare with other tracks worldwide?

We look forward to hearing from Patrick Husbands and the Barbados Turf Club on this point.

And even if the track is as dangerous as Mr. Husbands indicates, our position on giving more public money to the Barbados Turf Club is this…

Not one more dollar of public money until the Barbados Turf Club is fully accountable for its operations and finances. You want public money for your race horse operations? Then open the books for public scrutiny and we mean the lottery operations too.

Further Reading…

The winner of the Canadian Triple Crown Award in 2003 and winner of Canada’s Sovereign Award for Outstanding Jockey seven times also said that in the last 13 years he had been trying to encourage some of the world’s greatest jockeys to ride in Barbados, “and I cannot get it [to] happen.”

According to Husbands, most of these jockeys said they felt the Garrison track was “too dangerous”.

He suggested it was purely the influence of Sandy Lane Hotel owner and major racehorse owner Derrick Smith that saw Irish jockey John Murtagh – “one of the world’s greatest” in Husbands’ view – ride in Saturday’s Sandy Lane Gold Cup…

… from The Nation article Husbands calls for new racetrack



Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Sports

21 responses to “Since 1845: How many jockey & horse injuries & deaths at The Garrison?

  1. bimjim

    “Mr. Husbands is probably the best jockey that Barbados has produced in the past 150 years or so”…

    Sorry to be a grouch, but did someone erase the outstanding records of both Venice Richards and “Chally” Jones, both of whom were Champion jockeys in their times for many years (and with the last 150 years) – and across the Caribbean, not just on the Bimshire Rock?

    A single opinion does not a conclusion make. I think you should have a consensus and the willing names of several prominent jockeys (and trainers who used to be jockeys) before hanging out such a large sign.

    I’m not for or against the Turf Club, just seeking balance. Unlike Sparrow, because Husbands may have said so, don’t mean it is so!!

    I will grant that horse racing is a fairly tight community and that repercussions may be feared, but I think wider sources are appropriate here.

  2. BFP

    Hi Bimjim

    Point taken about Venice especially. If Clive doesn’t mind I’ll change the article to say that Patrick Husbands is “one of”.


  3. ac

    What husbands say might be true.but the question is where is the money going to come from?

  4. since a new racetrack will probably benefit the elites I suggest putting it on one of our new islands that we will be building for Mr Altman’s benefit

  5. Rumboy.

    This comment by Mr Husbands leaves some unanswered questions for me and I totally agree with BFP’s opening comment. Many of the sports top riders would never venture here simply because the purses are way too small. Surfing also suffers from this fact.

  6. condo man

    If it is so dangerous why was he drunk when he rode the Gold Cup? Everyone at the garrison knows this.

  7. racer

    I don’t know about him being dunk. Husbands is a class rider, but that is where it ends. He has limited knowledge about the marketing and sales side of racing. Horse racing is no longer just for the elite, about 50% of the owners are average income owners, that race on a tight budget. I certainly am not wealthy, and have the pleasure of owning a couple horses.
    I know of only two deaths as a result of falls at the garrison in a race, and one resulting in paralysis, leading to a premature death sometime later after, due to an accident at exercise.
    I have been involved in horse racing at various levels for over 25 years. There are inherent dangers in racing. Jockeys here do not get injured here any more frequently than at other racetracks around the globe.

  8. Hants


    North American jockeys are used to riding on tracks with log stretches and wide radius turns.

    That is why they do not want to ride on the small Garrison track with its small radius turns.

    It would be unwise to risk injury in Barbados when you are making a half a million or more per year in North America.

    Patrick will continue to be a Star jockey at Woodbine and I will continue to enjoy watching him and the other bajan jockeys like Jones and Callaghan.

    There is also the up and coming Terry Husbands following in the footsteps of his uncle.

    Barbados (in Horse racing) is well represented in Canada.

  9. Horse racing has its risks but so do many other things.

  10. Fish Pot

    BFP, i submitted this comment a week ago to the Nation but they refused to print it. I asked how come there was a 100,000.dollar reward out for info into the running of last years Gold Cup? Is the Turf Club saying that there is a criminal element among the racing in Barbados? Also nice to know how broke they are and have to be bailed by Government and could give away that kind of money just like that.This is a cold case? They had a chance to fix it a year ago. Why now? If any wrong doing was done, BTC look among you.You know the usual suspects. Bookies etc.

  11. racer

    That ad is not by the BTC.
    Amazing millions spent on Kensington .. bajans happy, write off a bad debt for horse racing.. and it is a problem.Horse racing employs more people in Barbados than any other sport, it may employ more than half the sports in Barbados combined.
    We don’t have betting on local racing by bookies, so there was nothing to gain by the local bookies.
    I guess the elite would be the grooms, general workers, trainers, jockeys and other tradesmen/professionals that make a living in the racing industry.

  12. racer

    Hants, those same jockeys ride at tracks smaller than the Garrison throughout Europe and North America. Lets put it this way if someone put on a race here with enough money to attract the likes of godolphin.. Frankie Dettori, Fallon, etc would ride here. It aint the track, it is the money. Jamaica and Trinidad have bigger tracks and they can’t attract that caliber of riders. It comes down to one thing $$$$$$$$$$$$

  13. Fish Pot

    @ Racer. So you are telling me that people involved in the BTC put up that money and the ad. If they got that kind of money why then not put it to a worthy cause like towards the debt, or maybe a jockey school? The part about bookies went right over your head. Smell the coffee my friend.

  14. racer

    The BTC had nothing to do with the ad.
    Any individual may place an ad in the newspaper, it may have been placed by a disgruntled punter for all I know/ care. When you find out who placed the ad, why don’t you call them and tell them how to spend their money.

  15. Fish Pot

    I am going to go on a gut feeling here and say that you know who put out the ad. You also seem to know a lot about the goings on in the BTC. You also know enough to question Mr.Husbands knowledge about marketing and sales, but you dont know he rode the race drunk, when it was the topic all around Barbados. You need to be up front and dont be afraid to say what you know.You said he was a class rider. Did he show class after the race?

  16. Sargeant

    If Husbands was drunk, why wasn’t be charged with impaired riding?

    Folks I just couldn’t help it.

  17. Pingback: Call for investigation into horse death at Barbados Turf Club « Barbados Free Press

  18. attitude

    @ bimjim first comment

    First let me say all who know these jockeys like u mention plus Patrick Husbands salutes them. But sweetheart Patrick Husbands r on a total different level dan those u mention. & not only he complains about the race track other jockeys that rode on it & dose still ride on it said the same thing & u know wats most of those jockeys fear on dat track? De turn by the paddock bend it’s so dangerous u don’t even know

  19. attitude

    @ condo man

    Can u prove that when Patrick Husbands rode in The Sandy Lane Gold Cup he was under the influence of alcohol?

  20. attitude

    @ fish pot

    u like u is another 1 u could prove that de man was drunk? stupseeeeee. And yes he got class but sweetheart he aint no different from we he aint perfect & what ever was his actions on that day he won The Gold Cup he rite dis is his home dats just how wanna dose wanna drag down Rhianna but sweetheart if he could give his self a name @ age 16 when he won the prestigious cockspur why he can’t come & enjoy he self & have lil fun when he won the Sandy Lane Gold Cup in 2010.

  21. attitude

    Agree with Sargeant

    “If Husbands was drunk, why wasn’t he charge with impaired riding?”

    u really wat de bajans answer dat wa ya done know how dem dose tlk, “da aint gine do he nothin caw he Patrick Husbands”, ” he mussy get charge but na body aint know” lol it’s so sad when it comes 2 our own ppl.