Richard Longmore, general manager of the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), said he is expecting great things from this year’s graduating of class of apprentices. Nineteen apprentices graduated from the Jockeys Training School on Thursday, during a ceremony, which was held at the JRC head office in Kingston. Among the 19 apprentices were two females participants, Samantha Fletcher and Tamicka Lawrence. Longmore said he is very pleased with the overall development of the apprentices because they have prepared well. “I am feeling very good because the turnout was excellent and for the most part these apprentices did very well and I am proud of them,” said Longmore. “We did a more aggressive riding schedule were we had two sets of professional jockeys training them,” he said. “We also shipped down an equaliser machine and so persons were able to ride beside each other. We also took them through the motions as if they were in a live race and so we saw where that particular aspect of it made some difference and we hope that they will be rewarded,” Longmore said. Beverly Lawrence, principal of the Jockeys Training School and welfare officer at Caymanas Park, said the apprentices have done extremely well in the six months training programme and she is expecting good things from them. “It was a good course,” said Lawrence. “We started out with 22 participants and one fell out of it because of illness and two were not at this ceremony and so we finished with 21,” she said. “They did very well because they are fully rounded and so they just need to go on the track now and do their thing and I am hoping to see them out there doing their best,” Lawrence said. “We also had remedial classes for them including mathematics and English and they did well.” | The other apprentices are, Jordan Barrett, Matthew Bennett, Carlos Blake, Jawani Forbes, Tevin Foster, Gordon Gregory, Roger Hewitt, Reyan Lewis, Christopher Mamdeen, Kiaman McGregor, Shane Richardson, Raddesh Roman, Daniel Satchell, Romario Smith, Romario Spencer, Daniel Thompson and Shavon Townsend.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PORTLAND, Maine – Colgate-Palmolive Co. announced Tuesday it is buying Tom’s of Maine, the leading maker of natural toothpaste, which used to tweak big toothpaste makers for putting artificial additives including saccharin in their products. The $100 million cash deal for privately owned Tom’s of Maine, which got its start in 1970 by producing a phosphate-free laundry detergent, reflects Colgate’s strategy of focusing on the higher-margin oral- and personal-care businesses. But founder Tom Chappell said that neither the company’s business philosophy nor its quirky toothpaste flavors, such as fennel, apricot and orange-mango, will change. Colgate said the purchase of 84 percent of the Kennebunk-based business is expected to close in the second quarter. Chappell’s family will keep a 16 percent stake. Colgate will get additional opportunities to purchase shares over coming years. Chappell said Tom’s of Maine, with annual sales of about $50 million, will maintain its product formulas and be managed as a stand-alone subsidiary, much as Colgate’s Science Diet pet food line has been. But he said Colgate’s financial clout and distribution network will enable his brands to make inroads into national chain stores and grow to their full potential. The U.S. market for natural oral- and personal-care products is valued at $3 billion and is growing at 15 percent per year, Colgate said. “The irony is that, although we are growing in the high teens and low 20s, it’s not enough to meet a demand 10 times the size,” Chappell said in an interview. “About 25 percent of Americans are interested in these kinds of products.” Tom’s of Maine products are distributed in Canada and the United Kingdom, but Chappell said the greatest growth opportunities are in the U.S. market. He said his toothpaste is “now the No. 6 brand in America, and I think we will be No. 3 with the help of Colgate.” The company’s operations will stay in Maine, all departments will remain intact, and no jobs are being eliminated, Chappell said. “Colgate said we do not want to see synergies at the cost of people,” he said. Packaging of Tom’s of Maine products will not identify the company as a Colgate subsidiary, he said. At one time, his company ran radio ads pointing out that mainstream toothpaste makers put saccharin in their toothpaste but Tom’s of Maine did not. Its Web site claims that the company’s products are free of artificial ingredients used by most of its competitors. His company has long espoused a philosophy of social responsibility and environmental awareness, and longtime customers responded to news of the Colgate acquisition with mixed feelings. “My first thought was that’s consorting with the devil,” said Linda Shary of Portland, whose family brushes with Tom’s of Maine toothpaste and has used some of its other products in the past. “But on second thought, it would be great if they could partner and start getting more socially responsible products into the Colgate line.” Another Tom’s of Maine customer, Marie Malin of Falmouth, had similar thoughts. “It’s always a little bit sad when these Maine-based companies are bought out by national companies,” Malin said. “But it could be a good thing because the more that American consumers know about and purchase natural and organic products, the better the world will become.” Chappell, 63, gave up a corporate career in Philadelphia and moved to Maine with his wife, Kate, in 1968 to pursue a simpler lifestyle. Their company, founded with a $5,000 loan, focused on environmentally safe products, the first being a phosphate-free laundry detergent called Clearlake. The company now has 90 natural products, including toothpaste, mouthwash and deodorant, and a work force totaling about 160 at its corporate offices in Kennebunk, its production facility in Sanford, Maine, and on its national sales force. Tom’s of Maine has gained a reputation for philanthropy, donating 10 percent of its pretax profits to nonprofit organizations that benefit the environment, the needy, the arts and education. It also allows employees to spend 5 percent of their paid time on volunteer work. Reuben Mark, Colgate’s chairman and CEO, said Chappell will stay on to lead the company. Colgate, which makes Colgate toothpaste, Palmolive dishwashing liquid, Mennen deodorant and Irish Spring soap, expects the acquisition to be neutral to its 2006 profits and increasingly positive each year thereafter. Colgate shares rose 58 cents, or 1 percent, to close at $57.58 on the New York Stock Exchange.