Greyhounds racing in the north of the state will be the first to reap the benefits of GRV’s new Beat the Heat welfare initiative thanks to the recent installation of massive shade sails at the Bendigo and Shepparton greyhound clubs.
“The width of the shade sails cover the length of two cars parked head to head, or the length of a car and a greyhound trailer,” explained David Straw, GRV’s Senior Infrastructure Project Manager – Facilities and Infrastructure.
“Bendigo and Shepparton are two of Victoria’s hottest tracks in the warmer months, and those clubs will also be having misting water systems installed in their kennel and wash bay areas, as well as the possibility (subject to successful trials) of having ground surfaces painted with a special paint that makes it cooler for greyhounds underfoot as they make their way from the car park to the kennel area and out on to the track.”
Straw said GRV has been confronted with a number of challenges with regard to the potential roll-out of the shade sails at other Victorian clubs.
“The initial plan was to have shade sails at all of our 13 clubs, and we are trying to work through a variety of issues relating to things like space, council restrictions and land ownership at some clubs,” he said. “We are, however, on target to have shade sails installed at The Meadows, Sandown Park and Sale this financial year.”
The lowest part of the shade sails is 3.0 metres above the ground, tall enough for the type of vehicles that are often used by trainers, and visitor buses, to fit under them. The cost of the shade sails was approximately $85,000 (Bendigo) and $120,000 (Shepparton), with the difference in cost relating to size as there were space constraints at Bendigo.
The Beat the Heat initiative falls under GRV’s new five-year capital works infrastructure plan.