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Barbados' Gold Cup Champion

Horse racing is a big deal in Barbados, especially when it comes to the famous Sandy Lane Gold Cup, formerly the Cockspur Gold cup. Crowds of enthusiastic fans flock to the Historical Garrison Savannah to witness the athleticism of these majestic equines on Saturdays or bank holidays. Growing up in Barbados it is common for young boys to spend time hanging around the track and adjoining stables, learning about horses and interacting with them. Patrick Husbands had this same upbringing growing up around horses on a family farm near to The Garrison Savannah racetrack, a continuation of a family legacy of professional jockey’s of which his father was a part. His father and older brother Anthony were his mentors, encouraging him to ride even though he didn't meet the required weight or height at the time.

Patrick Husbands first became a household name in 1990 at the young age of 16,  after winning the esteemed Barbados Cockspur Gold Cup. This victory came while he was grieving the loss of his father, who only had the opportunity to see him race three times. The journey leading up to that moment which began a long career of outstanding wins and numerous awards started with his initial ride at just five years old which would turn into a  career of three thousand wins and counting. In 1995 Patrick left Barbados to join his brother in Canada where he worked at one of the most prestigious stables, Woodbine stables. When he arrived, Patrick met the new challenge of prejudicial treatment, which made it difficult for him to find a horse to ride even just for exercise. It was a sad experience for him, but after a long three months he got his golden opportunity to prove his worth and there was simply no stopping him then.

Over the years Patrick Husbands has become one of the most talented and well-decorated jockeys in the history of horse racing. He has ridden to victory on various champion horses trained by the most experienced trainers in the horse racing world. In his rookie season at Woodbine, he accumulated twelve wins (1994) and fifty the following year (1995). Then in 1999, he ended his season on a high note winning a Sovereign award after a flawless winning streak and winning again in  2000. His Atto Mile win in 2001 earned him the first-ever natural hat-trick, back-to-back Sovereign awards. Patrick Husbands again triumphantly gained the Sovereign award for a fourth consecutive time. His outstanding contribution to sports has led him to be bestowed the Barbados Service Star in 2003 and recognition of his Triple Crown victory through ‘Patrick Husbands Day’ observed on January 3, 2004, at The Garrison Savannah. 

 The task of being a jockey isn't as easy or attractive as it may seem, this job like many others comes with its own hurdles. One such hurdle in being a jockey is the requirement to stay at a specific weight, a jockey must undertake some unpleasant and uncomfortable measures to do so. Sometimes it requires consuming a diet of nothing but liquid or having to regurgitate meals before a race in order to meet the weight requirement. Keeping physically fit with an intense workout regimen is also a big part of being successful. Bruises, fractures and breaks are also very common while racing horses. Patrick has suffered his fair share of falls and injuries including one that left him in a coma for six weeks and another that broke his foot in several places. He underwent surgery to place metal into his entire lower leg, which would allow him to walk and ride again. He rode through excruciating pain to achieve his best riding stats shortly thereafter and despite all these Patrick Husbands perseveres diligently for his one true passion even at the age of forty-seven.  

From his impressive jockey skills to his gift for dealing with challenging horses or his natural talent to his dedication and unwavering commitment, Partick has done exceptionally well for himself in the sport of horse racing. He truly loves the sport and every aspect of his life reflects this passion. Patrick considers himself blessed to be able to achieve so much coming from the small and often underestimated island of Barbados.