Greyhound Racing Victoria held the first in a series of industry engagement workshops on Tuesday night on ‘trial tracks, training and training facilities’.
More than 60 people gathered at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club with the workshop being hailed as a “great success” by GRV and participants.
Independently facilitated, the aim of the workshop was to understand from greyhound racing participants the current and future demands for different training and trialling facilities, and to take advice on how each track and training facility can be improved to benefit the sport of greyhound racing.
This included the areas of racing, trial, training, slipping and coursing tracks, private training tracks and the location of regional tracks.
The workshop also gathered views on how GRV should monitor and regulate each type of track and training facility.
“Tonight we commence with genuine consultation and we want to hear your views and learn from your knowledge”, GRV Chief Executive Officer Alan Clayton (pictured) told the workshop.
Mr Clayton added that reform to the industry was not optional with the recommendations for change being driven through the Perna Review in 2015.
“Amongst other deliverables the Review has instructed GRV to introduce a regulatory framework for all persons involved in the rearing, education, breaking in and training of greyhounds”, he said.
“We are sincere in our listening. We want to continue to build Victoria’s greyhound industry as the best in the nation with the welfare of animals at the heart of everything we do” – GRV CEO ALAN CLAYTON
Discussion for the workshop was led by a presentation of facts and figures about the subject matter by GRV’s General Manager, Racing, Wagering and Business Development, Stuart Laing.
Mr Laing provided the baseline data on current trial tracks and training facilities in Victoria and set the scene for the panel to express its views.
Mr Laing informed the workshop that there were currently 8,200 greyhounds active in Victoria with another 7,500 in rearing, breaking and pre training. He said there were 1,600 active registered trainers with six GRV Club-managed slipping tracks, five council slipping tracks, 14 registered trial tracks and four registered coursing tracks.
The presentation was followed by interactive conversation with a panel of greyhound racing and training representatives led by the independent facilitator.
The panel was made up of Peter Griffin, greyhound educator and trainer, Jeff Britton, Group 1 winning trainer, Greg Miller, CEO, Sandown Club and Troy Harley, Manager, Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club.
The panel discussion was followed by a “round table report back” asking participants to outline how GRV can assist in providing access to facilities; what should be the scope and quality of services provided; what should be the minimum standards and what should be GRV’s role in regulating facilities?
Discussion also included how the facilities could be used to keep track of greyhounds from rearing to breaking, pre-training and racing.
At the conclusion of the night Mr Clayton told the workshop such productive and insightful discussion made him extremely proud to be involved in the industry and he was looking forward to continuing discussions at the next eight workshops.
“We are sincere in our listening. We want to continue to build Victoria’s greyhound industry as the best in the nation with the welfare of animals at the heart of everything we do”, he said.
“The workshop was an excellent example of what we can achieve when we all put our collective minds and knowledge together”, he said.