David Gleeson was recognised for more than three decades involvement in greyhound racing as breeder, owner, administrator and sponsor when announced as the winner of the Ken Carr Medal at the Victorian Greyhound of the Year awards.
The Ken Carr Medal is considered the highest award for excellence within the Victorian greyhound racing industry.
The award, for special or outstanding contribution to greyhound racing, requires the recipient to clearly demonstrate four key qualities; skill, integrity, empathy for others and leadership.
“Ken Carr was a dear friend of mine. He was forthright, honest and a pleasure to get to know,” Gleeson said.
David Gleeson has been a successful breeder for many years, having produced and raced numerous Group-winning and city class greyhounds, with a dam-line that dates back to 1960s and in recent weeks has unearthed another potential top-liner in Shima Shine.
“Probably the main reason I’m so passionate about greyhound racing is because there’s an old saying that dogs are a man’s best friend,” said Gleeson.
“My father picked out my first pup when I was seven years old and I’ve been involved ever since. That’s over 50 years.”
In partnership with Bob Cummings, through their Davrob Syndicate, David has regularly made his mark in recent years through his potent ‘Shima’ line.
Shimaguni (Primo Uno – Messines) was a prodigiously talented stayer, winning the Group 2 AWM Distance Championship and Group 3 Chairman’s Cup.
Group 1 glory eluded her in four attempts, being unfortunate to run into champion Miata at the peak of her powers; however Gleeson has enjoyed great success with her progeny, most notably with Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Shima Bar, whose blossoming career was cut short by injury, and dual Group 2 winner Shima Song.
Shima Song has now followed Shimaguni’s lead in the breeding barn, producing boom youngster Shima Shine, the winner of four of his five starts, in her first mating.
“I attribute a lot of my success as a breeder to (the late) Nola Hogan, who is one of the all-time great breeders,” said Gleeson.
“A long time ago I asked Nola what was the secret to her success. She said keep your pups warm, dry and well fed. If you take care of dogs properly – love and handle them properly – you’ll get the reward.”
But it hasn’t just been on the racetrack that Gleeson’s dedication and expertise has been to the fore.
He recently stepped down after serving 31 years as a Sandown GRC director, including 15 years as Vice Chairman, while he sponsored the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (MGRA) for 35 years, through his Gleeson & Tonta company.
David has also served as a Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board (RADB) member.