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Jackie Greenough: Greyhound racing is no longer a male bastion

On International Women’s Day, we caught up with prominent greyhound trainer Jackie Greenough, who shed some light on how times have changed in our sport.

 

International Women’s Day is much more than a theme for gender equality.

Intrinsically, it’s a global day for celebrating the social, economic, cultural, political and sporting achievements of women.

In more recent times, there’s been a seismic shift in attitude towards women in sport – particularly at the elite level.

Prizemoney equity in grand slam tennis, creation of the AFLW, and the emergence of female jockeys are obvious highlights. And then there’s today’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup final that symbolises a new status in cricket, and which is expected to attract a crowd of 90,000 at the MCG.

However, greyhound racing led the field way back in the early ’70s when legendary female trainer and administrator Pat Haas – a GRV ‘Hall of Famer – started blazing a new frontier.

Pat ‘cracked the glass ceiling’ and the trailblazer was even on current-day trainer Jackie Greenough’s mind during an IWD-inspired interview about her own life in greyhound racing.

“We’ve come a long way since Pat pioneered a path for women in our sport,” said Jackie, pictured above with daughter Angela Jackson. “Greyhound racing is no longer a male bastion.”

She added: “When I first got my trainer’s licence there were very few women that handled greyhounds out on the track… But there’s been a massive change as you can now go into a race and half the field is either handled or trained by a female.

“It’s a sign of the times… Women have been behind the scenes in the sport, but they’ve now come to the fore.

“Greyhound racing is not a competition between men and women, it’s more about knowledge… And it’s becoming a level playing field these days.

“There’s still a few women in the background, and betting is probably still largely a male domain, but times are changing.”

Jackie has had a hands-on role with greyhounds for 40 years, and with husband Kel, forms a formidable greyhound training team.

“Kel and I made a pact that he would do the trialling and I would handle the racing side of things,” Jackie said.

Jackie’s regular routine with their team of greyhounds involves cleaning the kennels, feeding, trips to the vet, and race day duties etc.

“There was also a stage where I bred around six litters a year for a good 15 years,” she added.

Jackie rates recent G2 Cranbourne Cup winner Often Imitated as the best greyhound she’s trained.

 

RELATED: GRV HALL OF FAMER PAT HAAS

Peter Quilty
About Peter Quilty - Has more than three decades of experience as assistant editor of Victorian Greyhound Weekly. He was editor of GRV monthly magazine The Adviser (2001-09) and owner/publisher of Australian Greyhound Monthly. He also served on the selection panel for the inaugural GRV ‘Hall of Fame’ inductees and for several years was an adjudicator on the Victorian GOTY. He’s also published greyhound racing yearbooks and wrote the ‘Bold Trease’ video script.
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