Gold Cup more than a race

Friends laughing, children playing, adults betting, jockeys strutting, vendors selling, dancers moving, people dancing – the Sandy Lane Gold Cup last weekend was a melting pot of fun, horse racing and great entertainment.

Truly a family affair, the young and old crowded the Garrison Savannah to see the prized horse of the day, Dorsett, take the win in the 21st annual running of the prestigious race.

It was a family fun day at the Sandy Lane Cup.

The event has become a staple in Barbadian culture, attracting hundreds of race fans and other interested spectators.

An enthusiastic Natalia Morgan told Barbados TODAY that attending the race was an annual tradition for her family, especially since her daughters danced in the opening parade.

The stands at the Garrison Savannah were crowded with horse racing fans.

“Everyone looks forward to this outing to be part of this excitement,” she said while waiting for the final race.

Stall owner Devon Sobers fits Loni Witts for a pair of sandals while her husband Mark Witts looks on.

Those sentiments were also shared by Nikita Trotman who went to the Garrison Savannah with her mother and children. Trotman, who has attended the event for over five years, used the opportunity to bet on a horse and give her children the chance to experience the thrill of the races.

This spectator was enthusiastic as Jalon Samuels crossed the finishing line with Dorsett to take the Sandy Lane Gold Cup.

It was a good day for operators of food stalls as well. A first-timer to the races as a businessman, Jamal Hall of Bar Cutters revealed that the day’s sales had been satisfactory.

“The experience is ok. It’s not as big as I thought it would have been, but horse racing is not as popular as it used to be . . . but the crowd is still good,” he remarked.

The merry-go-round was one of the many rides available to the kids on Saturday.

Accompanied by their parents, the children were out in full force, excitedly running to and fro to get a glimpse of the horses or to visit the fun city at the centre of the track.

Porsha Waithe dressed up her puppy Jessie Waithe for the races.

Although the rides were the main attractions, 13-year-old Rhea Dowridge-Downes and her ten-year-old sister Porsha Waithe captured the attention of their peers, as they were accompanied by their pups dressed in glamorous fashions. They attend the event annually with their parents, and said the random costumes were put on the animals in the spirit of fun.

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