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Youth sets ‘course’ for bright future

Amid the excitement of the first meeting of the new season being held at Lang Lang this Sunday, the future of coursing in Victoria appears to be in the best and brightest of hands.

Each of the three coursing clubs, Benalla, Lang Lang and Longwood, has appointed a Young Trainer Representative to their committees, with the aim of providing a sounding board for the National Coursing Association of Victoria (NCA) Executive and to assist with promoting coursing, especially among other young trainers.

“During the off-season we tried to involve as many young people as we could, going forward,” said Sean Lithgow, who shares NCA Secretary duties with wife Mel.

“There is so much experience and knowledge in coursing, this is a great opportunity for these youngsters to absorb and learn from the many great older trainers in coursing.

“This will ensure this knowledge is not lost and obviously the NCA hopes in a few years time to see some of these young trainers on the NCA Executive.

“These guys are our future and it is great to see young people so passionate about our great sport.”

The Young Trainer Representatives are Travis King and Lucas Booth at Benalla, Riana Groom at Longwood and Elise Knott at Lang Lang.

“When Sean asked me about coming on board as one of the young trainers on the committee I thought it’s a great initiative.”

“My Dad (Peter) has always had greyhounds,” said 21-year-old Elise.

“We’ve always had one around the house, whether they’re racing or retired. They’ve always been part of the family.

“I remember when I was younger that I really loved going coursing because it was so much more relaxed.

“Then when I got my public trainers license about two years ago and had a few dogs of my own I looked at coursing because there’s lots of benefits on the racetrack. It’s a great way to encourage chasing because it’s totally different and obviously with the drag lure as well.

“Last year we had Especial Empire and Especial One coursing at Longwood in the Slips To Boxes Challenge, where there were really good dogs like Bound To Succeed (last start Group 2 Ballarat Cup placegetter) and Run Baba Run.

“We’ve known Sean (Lithgow) for a long time. He used to play football with my brother and my Dad helped show Sean the ropes at coursing.

“I basically went to every (coursing) meet last year and when Sean asked me about coming on board as one of the young trainers on the committee I thought it’s a great initiative, because there’s very few of us around. Especially my age.”

Elise currently has three racing dogs in her name, including Antarctic Lass, which has recently returned to the track after producing a litter of seven pups to Orson Allen, and she’s hopeful of taking a couple of runners to Lang Lang on Sunday.

In another positive development for coursing, Benalla Coursing Club is finalising details for the Coursing State Of Origin event, which will pit Victoria against NSW on Sunday, June 20.

WATCH: Common questions about coursing. For more coursing videos please click HERE.

RELATED

2021 Coursing Calendar at http://ncavictoria.com/

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About Gerard Guthrie - One of Australia's leading greyhound racing journalists since 2000 with the Greyhound Recorder and now with Greyhound Racing Victoria. Part-owner 2013 Group 1 Paws Of Thunder winner Sheikha. (The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of GRV)
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