RACING PROFESSIONALS REACT TO THE PASSING OF ‘MR RACING’ CHRISTOPHER ARMOND

Laurence Heffes (left) and Gresford Smith
Laurence Heffes (left) and Gresford Smith

KINGSTON, Jamaica - The racing industry has lost one of its innovative and pioneering administrators, Christopher Armond, on Wednesday following a short illness. Members of the fraternity have been reacting and these are some of their comments.

 FABIAN WHITE – PRESIDENT, GROOMS’ ASSOCIATION

When I got the sad news that Christopher Armond had passed away it really shook me. He was an icon and a well-loved person in the racing industry. He is gone but he will forever be remembered by all. He was a very good person; he knew this industry inside and out; he is that type of person you can sit down with and ask for an idea on anything. He is a person that is also willing to help, especially with me and the association. If we had a problem, we would go to him and he has always said, “Fabian, the best way to go by it is continuous negotiation; disruption, strike, and mash up the place make no sense”, and trust me, I have learned that and I have always have done my things that way thanks to Mr Armond. He is a great soul of the soil. On behalf of all the grooms, we send condolences to his family.

LAURENCE HEFFES – PRESIDENT, OWNERS’ ASSOCIATION

Without a doubt Chris Armond represented horse racing. His knowledge and foresight helped to advance the cause of racing in Jamaica and the Caribbean. As a commentator, Chris set the tone for those who followed and was the master of the quick quips. I will always remember his commentary on the 1984 2000 Guineas with a horse named Trance. “Into the home stretch they come, with the leaders…and on the wide outside Trace has awakened from his slumber and is pouncing forward.” That was an unforgettable moment in Armond’s commentary. From the owners’ perspective, Chris was always available to give advice and to advance our cause. A true racing man who made a significant contribution to horse racing. Sleep well in green pastures, Chris.

PATRICK SMELLIE – PRESIDENT, UNITED RACEHORSE ASSOCIATION

Without a doubt, Chris Armond was once the voice and then the face of horse racing in Jamaica. He was superlative as a commentator and even better as an administrator. Everyone knew that he knew more about racing than racing itself, and he used that knowledge to always advance the cause of the sport. Chris played a significant role in the development of racing and for that we as trainers are thankful

 DENZIL MILLER – RACING SECRETARY

Chris Armond played a key role in my development in the racing industry. I was privileged to work with him from my early days in the Racing Office and was the beneficiary of Chris’s vast knowledge of racing and the many attendant facets associated with this endeavour. To him, I must say thanks for all the insights and support over the years. Rest in peace, Caribbean Chris!

 TRAINER – GRESFORD SMITH

Christopher Armond was one of the stalwarts of racing. I am very saddened by the news that he has passed on and may the Lord bless his soul. Chris was very talented as an announcer as well as an administrator. We may not have seen eye to eye on certain of the things he has done, but what I can tell you is that he was all about racing. He will not be forgotten as his legacy will live on.

TRAINER – RAY PHILLIPS

Well, Christopher Armond was a very good person. He was a good commentator and administrator, who worked for the interest of racing. I send all of our condolences to his family members and friends. So it goes at times, it is life. He went too early so we just have to accept what it is.

TRAINER – RANDOLPH SCOTT

Christopher Armond was a very articulate person who did everything by the book. He would help the younger trainers with how to place their horses in races to get the best results. He was well-liked by all and to hear of his passing has left a void in the racing community, we will all miss him and may his soul rest in peace. Chris was always a very good commentator of races; he was one of the best

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One Response

  1. I am Chris's sister. Thanks to Quick Gallop and to all who contributed to this article about my brother.
    He was a giant of a man in the horse racing industry for sure, but for us, his family, he was the glue that held us together though we live in Jamaica & all over North America.
    We will remember his jokes, colourful stories and the wonderful times we had together.
    Chris was pain these last few years due to his illness, but kept his burden to himself, even telling his own family "everything OK man, don't worry".
    He was a God fearing man who was tough at times but always cared about his fellow man. He did not care about social status, and so he could realate to anyone, no matter where you came from.
    He stood firm in his beliefs which did garner some enemies, but he was fearless. He had a stern exterior, but my brother had a gentle, loving and caring heart.
    Chris, my love, I know we'll be together again someday. In the meantime, I'll miss you everyday. Love you forever.

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