I’d like to congratulate Fernando’s Riot and Anthony Azzopardi on a great run at the Australian Cup last Sunday. And the team at The Meadows once again did a wonderful job of presenting one of the peak events in Australia’s greyhound racing calendar. It was also a historic race, broadcast live and free to air as an hour-long special on the 7 Network, the first of three such live broadcasts this year as part of the greyhound magazine show The Thrill of The Chase. GRV has been working with participants, clubs, Crocmedia and the 7 Network to bring The Thrill of the Chase to the screen as part of one of GRV’s three new Strategic Directions – Innovation to Drive Revenue. This direction aims to proactively build our brand, increase customer engagement and develop new markets, products and content – to generate more revenue that we can re-invest in infrastructure, welfare and returns to participants. The Thrill of the Chase will help achieve this by giving current fans more in-depth content focused on major meets – while also providing a great introduction to the sport for those who don’t know much about it. You can read more about the return of The Thrill of Thee Chase in this edition of the Monthly.
The Australian Cup also saw the announcement of the final tally for GRV’s “Go The Red Dog” fundraiser where $250 was donated to the bushfire appeal every time a greyhound won a race from the red box at any Victorian track over January and February. $100,000 was raised and I thank all participants and clubs for their support of this initiative. Beyond “Go The Red Dog”, GRV will continue to hold board meetings, leadership team meetings and branch meetings in rural and regional towns and cities impacted by fires as a very practical way of showing our support by spending money locally through accommodation, food, petrol and other services.
Following an outbreak of Canine Coronavirus in greyhounds within Victoria, Greyhound Racing Victoria has moved to mandate the isolation of any new greyhounds arriving into the state to prevent any further spread of the disease. We have taken these steps to ensure the welfare of the dogs as well as the maintenance of the racing fields. We are taking every step possible to stop the virus spreading and we are grateful to participants for assisting us. Participants should contact their vet and GRV if any dog shows symptoms of a cold, vomiting or diarrhoea and any greyhound with those symptoms should be isolated.
In other news, I’m pleased to announce that GRV has released an updated version of the Watchdog mobile form guide that includes a dedicated live stream and you find out more in this edition. Also covered in this issue is Todd McKenney’s return as the 2020 National Greyhound Adoption Day Ambassador. The previous National Adoption Days in 2018 and 2019 were a great success and I encourage you to spread the word about this year’s National Adoption Day on 19 April.
Speaking of spreading the word, GRV is working to correct outdated, misleading and inaccurate facts and figures about greyhound racing in Victoria that have been recently quoted in some media outlets. We have put together detailed information for media and key stakeholders about the sport’s economic, social and community contributions, reform outcomes and the welfare and integrity measures now in place. Over March, myself and Louise Martin will be meeting with regional media around the State to brief them about what’s actually happening in Victorian greyhound racing today. GRV is also posting social media snapshots about the sport’s contributions and achievements in recent years and I encourage you to share them so that more people are informed about the real story behind our sport.