It was a very busy August for GRV and the sport, both on and off the track. One of the month’s highlights was the Victorian Greyhound Awards, held on 18 August at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club. I congratulate all the winners and recipients on their achievements, particularly our new Hall of Fame inductees Jan Wilson, Barry Smith and El Grand Senor.
You can read more about them in this edition of the Greyhound Monthly in a thorough review of a wonderful night.
It was followed the next week by the 2017 UBET National Championships in Brisbane, the Cranbourne Classic and the Waterloo Cup in a very action-packed three days.
There was some strong Victorian representation at the Nationals as Fanta Bale became the fourth consecutive Victorian greyhound to win the National Distance Championship just one week after being crowned the Victorian Greyhound of the Year. Meanwhile Zara’s Entity turned in a great run to win the Cranbourne Classic.
And for the first time ever, GRV and the National Coursing Association of Victoria teamed up to livestream the Waterloo Cup on GRV’s Facebook page, with more than 600 people online watching Better Than This win a second consecutive Waterloo Cup as it happened. GRV is evaluating the outcomes of this new approach to covering this prestigious event and hope to repeat it next year as another way to help raise the profile of coursing in Victoria.
The 2017 TAB Great Chase Community Day program also kicked off on 2 August at Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club and will culminate in the TAB Great Chase Final at The Meadows in October. GRV is proud to be part of this very worthwhile initiative which has raised more than half a million dollars for local community groups since 2003. To top off an action-packed month, Bendigo Greyhound Racing Association hosted a GAP Adoption Day on 27 August, where 20 greyhounds found their new homes.
Another welcome outcome during August was the Victorian Government’s announcement of a $263,000 grant for Glenview Park, which is shared by Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club and Latrobe Valley Racing Club. The funding will go towards a new outdoor entertainment space with a children’s playground, shade sails, lawn area and new seating, further strengthening the Traralgon club as a local community hub.
Last month also saw the close of the public consultation period for the draft Code of Practice for the Keeping of Racing Greyhounds. It is understood that the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources received more than 1200 submissions and it has been important that the industry’s participants have been active in making submissions. The next step is for the department to evaluate those submissions.
I would like to thank the clubs for their work with participants in providing submissions and other feedback on the Code, as well as on the proposed new planning guidelines which were released by the Victorian Government last month.
These new guidelines will deliver a state-wide approach to planning permits for greyhound facilities that will provide more certainty and confidence for industry investment.
On the subject of industry consultation, there has been some important feedback on the proposed new prizemoney and breeding incentive arrangements. We will now consider the feedback, and will develop revised options so we can consult on a broader range of proposed changes.
GRV is in the process of setting up new Racing and Breeding reference groups to strengthen participant input into these and other related issues. These groups will complement the work of the Industry Consultative Group and I will be announcing more details in the near future.
We are always looking for ways we can sustain and develop greyhound racing and I was very interested on a recent trip to New Zealand to observe the finish on lure in operation.
There were learnings from the trip for Victoria in relation to the operation of the finish on lure and we are discussing these matters with a number of Victorian greyhound racing clubs.
Coming up this month, we can look forward to the Healesville Cup on 10 September, an event which always offers a great family day out, followed by the official reopening of the new Horsham track on 12 September after a $1.2 million upgrade and I look forward to seeingas many of you as possible at both events.