Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) inaugural Pink Diamond series for Victorian-bred dogs of all ages and abilities was a great finish to an exceptional year for the sport.
The series, held across five provincial tracks from 4-18 June, boasted prize money and breeder bonuses of around $800,00 – $600,000 on finals night -making it the richest provincial race in Victoria, if not the world.
Two hundred and twenty Victorian breeders, and many more trainers and owners, took part. Strong praise and endorsements from leading trainers and fans helped generate record levels of wagering.
GRV’s CEO, Alan Clayton, said the Pink Diamond was one of several new initiatives to expand Victoria’s racing program to 26 meetings a week which enabled increased returns to participants at every level.
“GRV’s ability to grow its racing program has been underpinned by major reform over the past five years,” Mr Clayton said.
Since 2015-16, the number of re-homed Victorian greyhounds has increased by 50%. Last financial year, more than 2,600 were rehomed, with nearly 3000 dogs rehomed this financial year. Over the same time, euthanasia rates fell by more than 90 percent and race fatalities fell by nearly 30 percent. Also, during the financial year 2020-2021 race injuries fell by 10%.
“GRV’s ability to grow its racing program has been underpinned by major reform over the past five years.”
Also, since 2015-2016 GRV has invested more than $12 million in infrastructure reforms to improve track safety and race day operations. GRV now has two track design experts that are used across Australia by other greyhound racing jurisdictions, providing ongoing advice on all track upgrades using bio-mechanical science to radically re-design tracks and drive injuries lower.
The rate of breeding also matches our race program and overbreeding has been eradicated.
A new Code of Practice was introduced by the Victorian Government to clarify minimum standards for keeping racing greyhounds.
The integrity of the sport is now overseen by a dedicated Greyhound Racing Integrity Unit (GRIU). It was established and is headed by highly experienced and capable integrity officers, and uses sophisticated intelligence and data to monitor, analyse, investigate and prosecute if necessary.
GRV also became an even stronger welfare regulator in November 2020 when it was authorized by Animal Welfare Victoria to investigate and resolve animal welfare issues under the Domestic Animals Act. GRV is the only greyhound regulator in the world with such authority, which equates to similar authority exercised by RSPCA Authorised Officers.
“Thanks to the way GRV, Victoria’s greyhound racing clubs and participants have collaborated, the sport has a strong future and continues to contribute to regional communities and economies.”
The success of these reforms gives participants a way to clearly demonstrate how the integrity of the sport is being assured and show the broader community that expectations around integrity and animal welfare are understood and being addressed.
The reforms have made Victorian greyhound racing a recognized world leader in welfare and integrity.
Prizemoney and returns to participants increased by nearly 16% over last year to around $52 million this financial year.
“Just this month, we announced a $6 million boost for 2021-22 prizemoney – that’s a record-breaking $58 million. We will review this again over the next 6 months and look forward to identifying and implementing revenue and participant return opportunities as they arise” Mr Clayton said.
“Thanks to the way GRV, Victoria’s greyhound racing clubs and participants have collaborated, the sport has a strong future and continues to contribute to regional communities and economies,” Mr Clayton said.
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