By Renee Mok
Newcomer Jeff Geall says his challenging career in the workforce has played a pivotal role in his early success as a greyhound trainer.
Last Saturday Jeff’s greyhound Max Tractor won the maiden final at The Meadows, and the greyhound is now two for two so far in his career.
Jeff works full-time as a disability carer and this week he told RSN’s Off The Leash program that working with people who have disabilities has been a great experience which has impacted the way he trains greyhounds.
“I work with people with complex behaviours. It has taught me so much about humanity, treating people with dignity, having empathy for people who have a disability, and I genuinely care… even with greyhounds, we just treat them with respect. They are a beautiful animal. They are greyhounds, they have their issues, as we all know. We try to create a peaceful environment here at our property and I know (my brother) Dave does the same on a bigger scale.”
Jeff was introduced to greyhound racing a long time ago. He recalls his dad training a greyhound when he was a boy and working at the old Geelong track in Corio with his brother David in the 1970s prior to the opening of Beckley Park.
Since then, David Geall has become one of the top trainers in Victoria. After a break from greyhounds, Jeff recently returned to the sport to help his brother and is now training dogs of his own for the first time.
Jeff lives in the town of Fyansford and considers himself a ‘hobby trainer.’ He has two greyhounds, Zipping Eleanor and Max Tractor, in his backyard and then works at his brother’s kennels in Lara which is 15 minutes away.
“Dave has shown me the ropes and has been an amazing mentor,” Jeff said. “I have the best of both worlds – backyard hobby experience and to work with Dave,” he said.
Jeff said he’s impressed by the changes to greyhound racing since he last worked in the industry.
“I would say it’s in a good place – just the whole welfare and integrity – GRV has done an amazing job to where it is today. To have Tier 3 racing, that was unheard of in the early days… It’s just amazing where the sport is at the moment… it’s come a long way,” he said.
Looking ahead, Jeff is setting Max Tractor, a greyhound owned by his wife Marie, for the Group 2 Launching Pad series (515m) at Sandown Park in April.
INTERVIEW: Go to 11:53 to hear the Jeff Geall interview.
Pictured top of page: Max Tractor with Jeff and Marie Geall. Photo courtesy Jason McKeown Photography.