Welcome to the last edition of Greyhound Monthly Victoria for 2017. This issue covers the world’s richest and prestigious greyhound race, the Melbourne Cup and I congratulate Aston Dee Bee, his breeder/owner Ray Borda, and trainer Seona Thompson on the greyhound’s great run, as well as the team at Sandown Park for their hard work in making the night happen.
Another great moment of the night was, of course, Fanta Bale becoming only the third greyhound in the world to win $1 million in prizemoney, joining Fernando Bale and Dyna Double One as one of the sport’s all-time greats.
Last month also saw the annual Ready 2 Race Sales at the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association, where buyers invested $322,600 in 74 greyhounds at an average price of $4,359 per dog, up on $4,284 in 2016, and you can read more about it in this issue.
Also featured in November was GRV’s third Greyhound Community Day, held at The Meadows, which brought around 700 people and 300 greyhounds together to socialise and enjoy track tours, vet talks, dog washing, dental checks, live music and free kids’ activities. The Community Days have been a very well attended and praised initiative and you can look forward to more in 2018.
GRV’s inaugural Chase for Charity 2017 also wrapped up in November after raising almost $40,000 for organisations including the Victorian Men’s Shed Association, Dogs for Kids with Disabilities and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Turning now to industry development and growth, last month GRV implemented a new prizemoney and breeding support package, which was developed with considerable participant input. It includes more than $3 million in additional prizemoney to be shared between owners and trainers at the lower levels of racing while maintaining Metro Level 1 prizemoney at existing levels.
The package also includes up to $1.4 million for breeders and owners in the new VICGREYS breeding excellence program.
To further encourage sustainable breeding, GRV is also waiving all registration fees for breeding females, applications to service and mating results from 15 November 2017 to 30 June 2018. During this period, GRV will also reimburse all Greyhounds Australasia DNA analysis fees and introduce an alternative pink card registration process for when a DNA analysis has been taken, but not yet received. This will give participants more flexibility and cut processing delays for breeding opportunities.
In other industry news, I would also like to congratulate Tony Mestrov and Dayle Brown on their respective appointments as GRNSW’s Chief Executive Officer and Deputy Chief Executive Officer. Both Tony and Dayle are highly experienced and well regarded professional sports administrators and I look forward to working with them to keeping building the sport at the national level.
Finally, as we enter summer, I’d like to remind all participants of GRV’s Hot Weather policy which you can read at grv.org.au/HotWeather. GRV will continue to provide alerts through Fasttrack, texts and social media whenever race meets and trials are affected, and I encourage you to contact GRV’s Members Services if you’re uncertain about any aspects of the policy.
2017 has been a very busy yet rewarding year for GRV and the sport which I believe is now in a strong position for sustainable, long-term growth. As the year ends, I hope you all have an enjoyable and safe festive season and I look forward to seeing you in 2018 for more great racing.