By Tony Homfray
Recently registered Warrnambool greyhound trainer, Kurt Howard, is hoping to emulate his grandfather as he emerges as one of the new breed of young Victorian trainers.
Kurt, 25, is following in the footstep of his successful Western Victorian trainer, Gerard Taylor, who died suddenly several weeks ago.
“His death was a real shock, totally unexpected,” Kurt said from his grandfather’s Allansford property.
Kurt said had been going to the track with Gerry for as long as he can remember.
“I can’t remember a time when I was not with him either at the track or helping manage his dogs,” he said.
Kurt, who got his trainer’s license just two weeks ago now has responsibility for Gerry’s eight dogs.
While working as a cabinet maker and kitchen installer with Trendset Kitchens & Joinery in Warrnambool, Kurt’s days start at 4:30am and end after 7:00pm managing the four dogs in work and others which are retired, with at least one preparing for the GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program.
Gerry Taylor was successful with Barry Smith bred dogs such as Thomeli Diamond, Thomeli Boy and Hot Thomeli which came from a litter which won close to $50,000 in stakes.
Local Warrnambool trainer/breeders Kevin and Noel Mugavin are also actively supporting Kurt in his training career.
“I spend time with Kevin getting training tips and advice and we have one of Noel’s dogs in work,” Kurt said.
Flo Lava is a Mugavin-bred dog with 51 starts and is showing some promise.
“Poppy was training her and now that I have my license, she’s with me,” Kurt said.
Also, Kurt and his grandfather recently bought two pups with two close friends of Gerry’s. As partners in their first greyhound syndicate, Shadow and Skeeta are now in Kurt’s training hands.
Kurt says that Shadow looks like having a bright racing future judging on his recent trials.
So, with Kurt now firmly in the driver’s seat, his commitment and dedication to the sport and his dogs is following in the family tradition. And “Poppy” would definitely approve.