for BTC stalwart
FLAGS flew at half-staff and a minute’s silence was observed during the Barbados Turf Club’s (BTC) Boxing Day card at the Garrison Savannah yesterday as a mark of respect to the late Francis Cozier, former Barbados Turf Club (BTC) president, horse owner and vice-president of the Barbados Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.
Cozier, 73, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital last Saturday night after collapsing at his Neils, St Michael home last Wednesday.
He was a Turf Club?member from 1991, when he took up residence in Barbados, until his death, serving as director from 1996, vice-president from 2000 to 2006 under Robert Bourque and president from 2006 before resigning a year later. He was prominent on the committee when the BTC ran the Barbados Lottery on its own.
Among his horses, all bred and trained by Challenor Jones and all with the first name Victoria, the most successful was Victoria Regia, winner of the Tanglewood Stakes and close runner-up in the Derby.
Jones, one of the Caribbean’s top jockeys and trainers in a celebrated career in racing, was next-door neighbour, a close friend and associate of Cozier. They shared a paddock at Neils where Jones bred and trained over 20 horses in his heyday.
He called Cozier “a visionary who did a lot” for the Turf Club and the Breeders’ Association.
“He was a keen racing man who put his heart and his energy into the sport,” Jones said. “He was a worker, not a talker.”
Jones recalled that Cozier was keen on the laying of an all-weather track at The Garrison, similar to the one installed on the outfield at Kensington Oval for the 2007 Cricket World Cup. However, because of the expense – which concerned the BTC directorate – the track was never laid.
Cozier lobbied strongly with Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association president Rawle Batson to influence the BTC into reintroducing the premium paid to local breeders of horses finishing among the top three.
Born in St Vincent where his Barbadian father Stewart was commissioner of police, Cozier moved to Trinidad after his father was appointed deputy commissioner there.
He had a long and successful career with international oilfield services company Schlumberger that carried him to assignments in South America and the Middle East. He continued to do consultancies with oil companies after moving to Barbados on retirement in 1991.
Cozier leaves to mourn his widow Diane, sons Stewart, who has followed in his footsteps in the oil industry and is based in Iraq with his family, and Shaun, a graphic designer in Trinidad, as well as many friends and associates. (TC)