Building excitement

Barbados Derby will be a day to remember

The 2014 United Insurance Barbados Derby may be months away but the excitement that is already rising in the local horse racing industry could in the next few weeks reach fever pitch.

This year is the 30th anniversary of United’s sponsorship of what is one of the most prestigious sporting events and both the company and the Barbados Turf Club are planning a day to be remembered.

United Insurance Company Limited, under the leadership of the late Thomas “Tommy” Peirce, took up the sponsorship of the Barbados Derby in 1985 from Mackeson Stout.

With this new endorsement, the already high profile of the island’s premier horse racing classic rose to an even higher level.

United’s first action was to inject a sizable cash contribution into the prize money thus making the Barbados Derby one of the richest races at that time. This contribution has increased over the years

\with the company now donating $30,000 towards the total purse.

The filly Happy Style in 1985 launched United’s sponsorship of the Barbados Derby with an exciting victory under young apprentice jockey Darwin Clarke. This was a particularly satisfying success for owner-breeder George DeVere Davis who had been criticized for “sending a boy to do a man’s job”.

Victory in the inaugural United Barbados Derby for Davis was also the beginning of a run of successes which saw horses he bred and owned finishing first on three other occasions. He also bred the 2006 Triple Crown winner Zouk.

This year’s 30th running of the United Derby will have total stakes money of $68,000 with subscriptions expected to push the actual payouts
near or above the $100,000 mark. Without subscriptions, the winner will receive $37,400; second $15,640; third $9,520 and fourth $5,440.

The company has, in its 30 years of association with horse racing, pumped over one million dollars into the industry. Management says its association with the Barbados Derby is not only the fulfillment of United’s corporate duty but also a commitment to the development of horse racing in the island. It is one of the ways it gives back to the community that has helped it become one of the leading general insurance businesses in the Caribbean.

The United Barbados Derby has had a most positive impact on the local horse breeding industry. With this brilliant star to shoot for, breeders and owners have been acquiring top bloodlines from which to to breed. This has resulted in four winners of the Barbados Triple Crown, made up of the Barbados Guineas the Barbados Midsummer Classic and the United Barbados Derby.

Coo-Bird took the title in 1989, Incitatus in 1996, Zouk in 2006 and Areutalkintome in 2009.

The Barbados Turf Club has expressed its gratitude to United Insurance Company Limited for its long time support of the local horse racing industry in general and the BTC President Sir David Seale said: “The sponsorship of the Barbados Derby by United Insurance Company Ltd has been most welcomed by the Barbados Turf Club and Racehorse Breeders in particular.”

According to him, the Turf Club’s partnership with United Insurance Company limited has proven to be a winning combination.

“Sponsorship began at a time when the Barbados Racehorse breeding industry was in decline and it was their support of the prestigious United Derby that encouraged local horse breeders to expand their breeding operations providing more employment for those who work in the industry,” he said.

Sir David has extended best wishes to the sponsors and says he is looking forward with great expectations to the 30th running of the United Barbados Derby.

The management of United Insurance Company Limited has reiterated its pleasure in again sponsoring the Barbados Derby.

“At United, we believe that contributing positively to the communities in which we operate is just as important as offering protection for the things our clients hold dear.”

The company said this was why it supported a wide range of activities and partners with organisations across its 14 territories. United has supported sports, in particular, for over 30 years, including youth cricket, basketball, sailing, horse-racing, chess and golf.

Source: Bernard Babb

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