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Crores lost when lakhs could have saved

Horse racing in Western India is suspended because of an outbreak of a mysterious fever and faces the prospect of losing crores as the governing body for the region refused to part with a sum of 16 lakh to tackle the crisis in time, reports Mohit Lalvani.

other Updated: Nov 08, 2008 00:00 IST
Mohit Lalvani

Horse racing in Western India is suspended because of an outbreak of a mysterious fever and faces the prospect of losing crores as the governing body for the region refused to part with a sum of 16 lakh to tackle the crisis in time.

The irony is that the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), one of the most prestigious racing clubs in the country scored a self-goal when it failed to release a paltry sum of $35,000 (approximately 16 lakh) to the Indian Association of Equine Practitioners to fly in two American experts to combat the disease in its infancy. The IAEP warned RWITC in July this year following reports that a stud farm in Pune had a large number of fever related abortion cases. The body responded by sanctioning only one lakh.

The experts never came and the epidemic hadspread to such an extent that RWITC has been forced to suspend the Mumbai season.

Asked about the laxity on part of RWITC, chairman Cyrus Poonawalla was non-committal and said he can't pinpoint when the outbreak started. Poonawalla, however, warned of substantial losses: "We have to wait till the entire situation is under control before assessing the losses. added that he was on his way to Japan to discuss the situation with experts there.