As you can see from this issue of Greyhound Monthly Victoria there’s a lot happening right now in the sport across the state. This year’s Australian Cup at The Meadows drew one of the biggest crowds ever seen there, to watch Dyna Double One become just the third greyhound in world history to win $1 million in prize money. And in April the heats start for both the Warrnambool Classic, which introduces a new generation of racers to the sport, and the Warrnambool Cup.
At GRV, the focus on animal welfare continues with the recent heatwaves testing how our new hot weather policy is working. Under the new threshold of 38 degrees Celsius introduced on Boxing Day last year, 18 meetings have been transferred, 14 cancelled and 1 abandoned at time of publication. Following feedback from participants GRV has introduced Meeting Cancellation Payments, equivalent to Travel and Starters’ Fees, for trainers with greyhounds drawn to compete at cancelled meetings and we will continue to monitor how the policy is impacting on animal welfare and racing operations. The Policy will be reviewed in its entirety at the end of March and take into account learnings and feedback from this summer.
GRV is also gathering information and data on racetrack firmness and preparation to assess the impact of track surfaces on injuries. Tracks which are too firm can, amongst other things, contribute to toe, metacarpal and carpal injuries. A more comprehensive process for reporting race day injuries is generating data that GRV is analysing to identify the relationship between track firmness and the impact that this has on injuries. GRV’s 2014 Track Preparation and Maintenance Manual provides a detailed guide for preparing the optimum track surface and the results of our injury data analysis and testing of new track firmness and moisture reading equipment will inform the next edition of the Manual.
This March also marks the 20th anniversary of the first dog re-home through GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program which has grown into one of the most successful programs of its kind in the world. It has now found homes for over 6ooo dogs and GRV is building on this success with plans for expansion that you can read about in this issue.
As part of Greyhound Racing Victoria’s (GRV) new service model which is covered in this issue, our integrity and racing operations have been clearly separated which will deliver many benefits including increased opportunities for the GRV General Manager of Racing, Wagering & Business Development to be on the ground and available to participants at race meetings. The clear separation of racing from integrity and welfare is one example of how the new GRV structure makes the organisation much more ‘fit for purpose’ and I will have more to report on what this will deliver for participants and the sport in upcoming issues of the Monthly.
Chief Executive Officer
Greyhound Racing Victoria