Entornointeligente.com / For more than 40 years, Christopher Armond has given his expertise, knowledge and skills to the local horse racing industry, as a trainer, commentator and an administrator.
Today’s final day of the Supreme Championship weekend will be last in the industry for the outgoing director of racing at Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), as he will retire from the sport that he has been actively involved in for all his life.
As the 65-year-old reflected on his decades of service to the sport, he says that the time was right to trust the future of the industry to the next generation, so they can play a part in furthering its development.
“You need people for the future. Yes, I could stay on for two, three more years and contribute, but it’s better to give it to a younger person, so that they can develop themselves as part of the growth of the industry,” Armond told The Sunday Gleaner .
Armond will be honoured today with the running of the Chris Armond Sprint for three-year-olds and up. Though the recognition came as a surprise to him, Armond is thankful for the accolade which he will share with his family today.
RACING CONTRIBUTIONS In truth, the recognition is also, in some ways, a nod to the Armond family that has been involved in horse racing in Jamaica for close to a century.
Armond’s grandfather Altamont and his father Joseph both served in the industry as administrators.
Unlike his siblings, he was eager to be a part of the family business. He recalled his first contribution to the sport, while still a teenager, when he approached his father to introduce races for female horses.
“We used to have one Guineas race every year for both males and females, and I said to him, to assist female horses to be able to have a price when they are being sold, we need to write races for them, so they can retreat away from the boys and run by themselves for decent money. That’s where the 1000 and 2000 Guineas came from,” Armond said. “That’s the first thing I would say I contributed to the racing industry.”
His contributions would soon extend to his over three-decade stint as a commentator for JBC radio and subsequent various administrative roles in Jamaica and the Caribbean. During the ‘90s at Caymanas Track Limited, he was responsible for implementing simulcast of North American racing as well as the creation of new bets and other initiatives. Initiatives he says he is proud of in helping to shape the industry.
“Without blowing my own trumpet, the number of things I’ve done for the industry in Jamaica is the reason why it is where it is today,” he said.
He is undecided how he will spend the next chapter of his life, but he insists that he will be taking it easy for the next two months. While he says that he wouldn’t mind lending his knowledge in an advisory role, he will not miss the demands that the industry requires.
“The knowledge I have of racing, it shouldn’t just be completely thrown away. If there is anybody that wants me to deal with them like the racing commission, even if SVREL wants a couple of areas to be advised in, I don’t have no problem dealing with that at all,” he said. “But the daily grind and everything is over as far as I’m concerned.”
LINK ORIGINAL: Jamaica Gleaner