KINGSTON, Jamaica – Cecil Lawrence “Laurie” Silvera, a former five-time champion trainer in Jamaica, died peacefully in Canada on Monday last (March 2). Silvera died at age 89. He migrated to Canada in 1975.
Silvera held sway at Caymanas Park in the 1960s and the early part of the 1970s.
In Jamaica, he saddled 543 winners and is primarily remembered for the great battles he had on the track with fellow conditioner Alan “Billy” Williams.
“Laurie was a pioneer. He was a true lover of horses, who plied his skills with aplomb and dedication at home and abroad.
“He played a significant role in the development of horse racing at the then young Caymanas Park.
“Lest not forget that Laurie Silvera was an owner and a breeder.
“He along with his partner Clive Brooks operated the Silverbrook stud farm which was located close to Old Harbour in St Catherine.
“Silvera was the personification of a gentleman, and I offer my condolences to his family and friends,” shared Clovis Metcalfe, chairman of the Jamaica Racing Commission with this publication.
While in Canada, Silvera continued to train horses, winning over 1,000 races in North America.
“Laurie carried the Jamaican flag with pride and distinction in Canada, and to have won over 1000 races on tracks in North America is quite an outstanding achievement.
“In Jamaica, a lot of people will remember Silvera’s association with a horse by the name of Bonnie Blue Flag, who had some titanic battles with the grey Kandahar trained by Billy Williams. Then there were horses in the Silvera camp like Peg’s Way, Coast Guard, Creation, Second Fiddle, Batten Down, and others, but his pride and joy was always Bonnie Blue Flag,” Metcalfe informed.
Woodbine Entertainment issued the following statement on the passing of Silvera
“Woodbine Entertainment and the Canadian horse racing industry are mourning the loss of long-time thoroughbred trainer Laurie Silvera, who passed away March 2.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Silvera became a licenced thoroughbred trainer in Canada in 1975. The graded stakes-winning conditioner earned more than 1,000 wins and nearly CAN$26 million in purses throughout his career in North America.
“A true gentleman, Laurie was a long-time fixture on the Woodbine backstretch and was highly respected among the local racing community for his horsemanship and willingness to help others. Racing fans in Canada will remember Laurie for his prowess in training horses at Woodbine for decades, and the early season success he often achieved,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “On behalf of Woodbine Entertainment, we offer our sincere condolences to Laurie’s family and friends.”
Silvera topped the trainer standings for three-consecutive spring meetings at Greenwood in the late 1980s to early 1990s. In 1991, Silvera posted a career-best 43 wins and campaigned the Sovereign Award-winning two-year-old colt Free At Last, who won the GIII Summer S. The respected horseman recorded eight million-dollar seasons including back-to-back years with almost CAN$1.5 million in purses in 2006 and 2007. Other stakes winners trained by Silvera include Ariana D, Tusayan, Stormthebarricade, Madam Du Barri, Marvellous Silver, Right Regal, Courtly Candor, Parisinthespring, Try in the Sky, Hawk in Flight and November Snow.”