This workshop was held at the Geelong Greyhound Racing Club on Saturday 23 July, on another cold day – perfect for sitting in the warmth of the club to discuss issues around what participants think of the racing program and how it’s structured, and the grading system and what improvements could be made.
GRV’s CEO, Alan Clayton, opened proceedings by welcoming everyone. In particular, he expressed appreciation to all participants for giving up their time and attending the workshops over recent weeks to work together to make improvements and reforms throughout the sport.
Stuart Laing, GRV’s General Manager of Racing, Wagering & Business Development then gave a presentation on the principles and ideas that the racing program is founded on, as well as an explanation of the extraordinarily complex grading system.
Then it was time for the illustrious panel – trainers Robert Britton, Darren Fisher & Jamie Ennis – to field questions from the MC, Troy Harley, Manager of the Bendigo Greyhound Racing Club.
After lunch, it was time to break up into groups to workshop this question:
What changes need to be made to race programming and grading to ensure that all greyhounds whelped can have a successful racing career?
There was agreement throughout the room that the racing program and grading system were generally effective, but that some tweaks and improvements could be made:
There was general support for a new rating system to improve racing opportunities for greyhounds caught between grades and to simplify the current grading system. Reallocation of prize money to help with upkeep of greyhounds in lower grade races, especially for Tier 3 racing was discussed as were proposals to support local trainers at particular meetings by including area code restrictions for some races, more Vic-bred races and allowing trainers to scratch without penalty for upcoming races if they are drawn as a reserve and obtain a start.
It was another satisfying workshop, and GRV encourages all participants to get along to the remaining three:
- Opportunities for Smaller Scale Participants on Sunday 31 July at The Meadows
- Industry Education & Training Requirements on Saturday 6 August at Cranbourne
- Retirement and Re-homing on Sunday 14 August at The Meadows
Go to: greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/workshops for more information.