GRV’s five-year capital works infrastructure plan demonstrates the organisation’s commitment to a long and sustainable future.
This includes the construction of new facilities at a number of race clubs to assist with the education and exercising of greyhounds, such as galloping runs, straight training tracks, bullrings, walking machines and viewing kennels.
The construction of a brand new $55,000 state-of-the-art bullring at the Sale Greyhound Racing Club is one of the first projects to be completed, and this has now been in operation for two months.
However, simply having access to, and using a bullring doesn’t automatically equate to success. In fact, it can be detrimental, and the first step is understanding the purpose of them.
Des Dooley, Manager of the Sale GRC and a successful breeder and rearer of greyhounds, said the main purpose of bullrings is to be a stepping stone for pups before they step on to a racetrack.
“The bullring is designed for no distractions from grandstands, people etc and is a good transitional step for pups going to different environments,” Dooley said. “The move from the comfort zone at home to new surroundings at the track is a big step. If we can make the transition easier the bullrings are working.”
“A greyhound might only need to use a bullring two or three times during its puppy life, but that can mean the difference between that pup making it to the racetrack or not.”
Dooley, whose long list of winners he has bred and reared includes Australian Cup winner Franklin Deano, said bullrings are about building the confidence of pups and getting them used to the sights and sounds of a lure in motion. He added that he wouldn’t recommend using a bullring as a form of intense exercise.
“I personally would not want a greyhound galloping flat out around a nine-metre radius because after about a quarter of a lap the dog would be putting too much strain on its body. After a few seconds they should hopefully be biting on and enjoy being towed. With the hoop arm being introduced we are happy to allow dogs to bite onto the hoop lure in the bullring.”
Dooley said it was important participants understand that while the bullring is designed to be an enjoyable experience for greyhounds, over-exposure to a bullring can nullify their interest in chasing the lure or, in direct contrast, cause a greyhound to become hyperactive.
“The best dogs will always be those that save their energy for races. Too much work in a bullring can cause greyhounds to become ‘over the top’ and therefore difficult to maintain, particularly on race days when you want them to be calm and focused,” Dooley said.
“I don’t believe there is an ideal number of times to use a bullring – it depends on the individual pup – but fitness levels pending, once a pup aged 12 months or older is confident in a bullring the next step is on to a full size track. A greyhound might only need to use a bullring two or three times during its puppy life, but that can mean the difference between that pup making it to the racetrack or not.”
ABOUT THE SALE GREYHOUND RACING CLUB’S BULLRING
- Operated exclusively by trained Sale GRC staff
- It is a public-use facility and as such, the safety of the greyhounds and participants is the primary concern
- High fencing to eliminate distractions
- Lure arm is of the hoop variety so that the dogs cannot run into it
- Fencing preventing greyhounds from running under the rail
- Option to use the blue-coloured lure identical to what has recently been rolled out at Victoria’s 13 racetracks
Monday and Thursday mornings from 9am. To book use of the bullring, contact the Sale GRC on 5144 2148.
$10 for 5 minutes and is on a sliding scale e.g. $25 for 15 minutes. (Note: The equivalent of 15 minutes on the race track is $40).