Jamaica’s Grooms Association has benefited from a $1.5 million assistance package from the country’s Betting Gaming and Lotteries Commission (BGLC).
The Jamaican Racing Commission (JRC) has also signed a health plan with the Grooms Association, extending a 30% discount on the associated premiums.
Clovis Metcalfe, who holds the position of Chairman at both regulatory bodies, said that it was important to give back to the racing industry, in particular the grooms.
“We all know that the grooms are the lowest paid stakeholders in the racing industry, so we tend to always try and assist as best as we can,” he remarked.
There are a total of 350 grooms currently employed at Jamaica’s Caymanas Park, the island’s only horse racing track, making them the single largest group of stakeholders in the industry.
Meanwhile, Fabian White, the President of the Grooms Association, although welcoming the financial support from the BGLC, has stated that his organisation will be lobbying the JRC for better working hours for its members.
He detailed: “Because we work seven days a week we don’t get extra pay for public holidays or weekends, but we do it because it is our living.
“But it is a hard road and hard work because we start work at four o’clock and and you don’t stop work until at least one o’clock, and after one o’clock you still have to take your truck back again in the evening.”