This four-part series looks at Barbados today through the lives - at work and at play - of the island's horse racing community. The series is centred on the Barbados Turf Club and following the stories of a colourful cast of characters, from the big white owners at the top of the tree right down to the poor black exercise riders and grooms. The Club and its racecourse have been based at the former British Army Garrison on the edge of the island's capital Bridgetown for over a hundred years. These quirky and, at times, spiritually-minded programmes look at how the culture of Barbados today, its institutions and the mindset of its people have been shaped by the colonial past and the legacy of and slavery.
This programme explores what it is to be Bajan (Barbadian) during the run-up to Independence Day. Jonathon Simpson owns a farm and breeding stables in the hills, where groom Pat Coward is kept busy breaking in yearlings for training. Meanwhile in St Ann's Fort next to the Garrison Savannah the Barbados Defence Force's top Sgt. Maj. Cherrol Dean is drilling his troops for the 43rd annual Independence Day Parade. The programme discusses the ways in which Bajans - human and equine alike - are both bred and nurtured and compares the experiences of single mothers Pat and army medic Safreya Small. This first programme finds an island influenced - but perhaps surprisingly not overshadowed - by its colonial past, with a sense of historical contradiction and ambiguity that is the heartbeat of the series.
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