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Ryan Papenhuyzen – Storm champion & greyhound lover

Melbourne Storm’s Ryan Papenhuyzen is one of the fastest full-backs in the NRL, and while 2020 might have given us all some stresses, it also gave Storm fans a grand final win, and for Ryan, the Clive Churchill Medal as man-of-the-match.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear he’s also a greyhound fan: both racing and adoption.

Ryan’s first dog was Gary’s Gift. He recently caught up with George Farrugia on GRV’s Thrill of the Chase and explained his first foray into greyhound racing.

Star sprinter Papi Go Fast, named after Ryan Papenhuyzen, has had 26 starts for 16 wins and, extraordinarily, has never missed a place.

“A few of my cousins and I sat around one Christmas and thought let’s do it. It’s an affordable way to get into it, and the horses were probably a bit expensive, so we thought we would go the greyhound way.’

“We got in touch with (breeders) John and Minnie Finn and we picked out Gary. He had a few wins, and we had some great nights out at the track as well.”
Ryan’s now involved with the National Draft as part of Team Britton and has an interest in two dogs, Kiss Me Kate and Absolute Ruby, but was he ‘on’ the former dog when it won at Geelong paying $61?

“I’ll probably get shamed for this, but I wasn’t. I feel like I’ve got an excuse for it. It was a morning (race) meeting, and she was a reserve dog that got put in late… and I slept in a bit late.”

“They’re really chilled pets. If they can find a good home at the end of their career that’s something I really want to push.”

Ryan’s at a point now that he also has a greyhound named after him – Papi Go Fast.

“As soon as he came on the scene, I put him in my Watchdog Blackbook. There are a lot of dogs out there but to have a really good one (named after me) is special. I do plan to get out and see him and meet him one day.”

It’s not all about the racing for Ryan though. “I think what I’m really passionate about is that fact that they’re awesome athletes that run some really fast times but they’re really chilled pets.

If they can find a good home at the end of their career that’s something I really want to push.”

Ryan has plans to adopt but, according to Melbourne Storm fans, he’s probably got another priority, starting at AAMI Park on March 11.

WATCH: Ryan Papenhauzen in 7Two’s Thrill of the Chase studio in February.

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Phillip Weir
About Phillip Weir - Phil Weir is based in regional Victoria and has spent a lifetime working in the media. He has a keen interest in the origins of greyhound racing and is a foster carer for the Greyhound Adoption Program.
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