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Public Insults At JM Lee Shim At The Barbé Cup

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Accused Taslimah Valayden assumes responsibility but calls for a Fact Finding Committee.

The incidents at the Barbé Cup, after the 6th race at the Mauritius Turf Club (MTC), did not go unnoticed. The Organism has even initiated an investigation and this has even been brought to a meeting of the Board of Directors on 09 August. The frustration was between the public, Taslimah Valayden and Jean Michel Lee Shim. They all acted and reacted via communiqués.

JM Lee Shim version

Jean Michel Lee Shim was indeed booed during the Barbé Cup, when he arrived just before the stroke of the 6th race but especially after his horse, Frosted Gold, won. The public insulted him, with some even calling him a “Hypocrite”. JM Lee Shim preferred to leave the venue. In a press release dated 07 August, he said: “A deplorable incident spoiled the very good atmosphere in the paddock, which explains my absence from the prize-giving ceremony. I find it unacceptable that an owner, who wins a classic race, can be verbally abused in the MTC paddock…“.

Jean Michel Lee Shim, in the same statement, listed Taslimah Valayden as the main ‘detractor’ and mentioned the presence of bouncers. “As I was informed that Mrs Taslima Valayden was accompanied by bouncers during her visit to the Champ de Mars on Saturday, I preferred to leave to avoid other incidents that would have spoiled a nice day of racing at the MTC. This clarification is necessary, because my absence at the prize-giving ceremony after the Barbé is variously interpreted by the public and at the MTC.

MTC committee converging

In a statement issued on Monday 08 August, the MTC committee said that they will take a decision on these incidents and make them public. It should be noted that the Horse Racing Division was to oversee this investigation. But also, that this is a first, neither the HRD nor the MTC have in the past initiated an investigation on such grounds.

Taslimah Valayden accepts

Taslimah Valayden, who was accused of verbally abusing the majority shareholder of the People’s Turf PLC (PTP), also responded in a statement released on Tuesday 09 August. She did not deny it and explained that “what made me so angry was seeing him with an MTC badge“.  She also said, “What happened on Saturday 06 August 2022, the day of the Barbé Cup, I fully assume“. On the other hand, she calls for a Fact-Finding Committee by competent authorities, “And if we really want to know the truth about everything that happened, we need a Fact-Finding Committee with broad powers and not a Committee that will be perceived as a ‘butter-passing’ exercise“.

This investigation is to be closely followed.

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