As we approach the end of the financial year, I think it’s important to note that all of the Perna and Milne Report recommendations that were GRV’s responsibility are now implemented. I thank all participants and stakeholders for their commitment, understanding and patience with what has been a sometimes challenging journey. However, I believe that the sport is now very well positioned for consolidation and long-term growth. With stable and significant commitments to animal welfare and integrity, much of GRV’s work will now focus on better supporting participants with targeted training and development opportunities, whilst at the same time seeking to attract new participants, punters and audiences.
One important development for this future is the Victorian Government’s announcement that it will establish two new bodies, the Victorian Racing Integrity Board and the Victorian Racing Tribunal, and you can find out more about in this edition of the Monthly.
I’d also like to mention here that I’m very pleased to announce that both Bernie Carolan and Robert Greenall have been re-appointed as Chair and Board member respectively of Greyhound Racing Victoria until July 2021. These reappointments will provide continuity and stability and will reinforce our commitments to our existing directions.
And in related news, interviews have now commenced for the position of Greyhound Australasia (GA) Chair and GA has also endorsed the appointment of a National Greyhound Adoption Ambassador.
Speaking of greyhound adoption, GAP hosted another Adoption Event at its Seymour headquarters on 15-16 June where 58 greyhounds found new homes. And if you’re looking to place a dog with GAP, there’s never been a better time as spaces are now readily available for GAP pre-entry assessments, which are being held three times per week across the state. Currently, the wait time is less than four weeks to have a greyhound assessed, providing the 28-day wind-down period has been completed and the required vaccinations have been administered.
To make sure that GAP continues to work as well as possible in re-homing greyhounds, two reviews are now underway. The first is being carried out by an independent consultant into GAP’s overall processes and business model. The second review is being carried out by a highly regarded independent veterinary behaviourist to assess the relevance and effectiveness of GAP’s Green Collar testing procedures. GAP will also be working with all Victoria’s other greyhound adoption agencies to develop a Statewide Re-homing Strategy that builds support for non-green collar adoptions including a more effective collaboration with other re-homing groups.
Turning now to the track, Lang Lang hosted one of the biggest days on Victoria’s coursing calendar on Sunday 24 June which included the finals of the Sylvester Doyle Puppy Championship, Gippsland Cup and Ray Boundy Memorial. Over ninety greyhounds took part and it was a great example of what coursing can offer for both participants, enthusiasts and our greyhounds. And across the Tasman, Victorian-trained Ring The Bell won his second ‘Silver Collar’ on 10 June. This is New Zealand’s most prestigious greyhound race. I congratulate connections on this historic win which is covered in more detail in July’s Monthly.
The two big events coming up in July are the Triple MMM Bendigo Cup, with the heats on 1 July and the final on 6 July, followed by the Maturity Classic series on 14, 21 and 28 July at The Meadows and which is now open to greyhounds whelped from 1 January 2016.
And looking ahead to August, there’s the 2018 Nationals at Sandown from 21-24 August. This year includes an extensive off-track program with Greyhound Clubs Australia’s AGM, an Awards Dinner and Australia’s first national integrity in sports conference. This conference points the way forward for other such events and planning is now underway for Melbourne to host an international conference on track safety next year. The full Nationals event program and registration details for conference events is available online at: www.2018nationals.com.au and I hope to see you there.