A PILOT scheme for the return of a ‘permit’ training licence could happen before the end of the year after proposals on the scheme made far greater progress than anticipated at a GBGB meeting yesterday.
A regular gathering of the GBGB’s rules review committee was asked to consider a scheme whereby a training licence could be issued without the requirement for expensive purpose-built kennels and, in effect, allow a small number of greyhounds to be trained from a domestic home.
The proposal, initially tabled by Greyhound Star editor Floyd Amphlett around a year ago, has been gathering momentum in recent weeks with an online petition attracting around 200 supporters in the space of a few days but, perhaps more crucially, a number of leading promoters indicating that they backed it as well.
And following yesterday’s meeting, a GBGB statement said: “An ‘in principle’ decision was made to further scope a possible development of permit trainers.
“In addition, the feasibility of trialling such a development, sooner rather than later, at a small number of tracks was considered and will be put to the Greyhound Regulatory Board later this month.”
News that GBGB has agreed in principle to permit racing has been met with great joy by many of the people who signed the Star’s petition. Although it was closed three weeks ago, the emails continue to fly in with pledges from potential permit holders. To date, little is known beyond the single sentence statement from GBGB press officer Simon Banks. But things are starting to move:
Pelaw Grange are to publish a notification in Friday’s racecard inviting potential permit holders to contact the racing office.
In the last couple of years the Durham track has lost “somewhere where between 150-200 greyhounds” to the neighboring William Hill tracks as the names Caile, Anderson, Burton, Strike, Taylor, Blackbird and half a dozen others. . have all disappeared off the racecard.
Racing manager Dave Gray said: “We are thrilled at the decision of the GBGB, though we are a bit cautious, reading Jonathan Kay’s piece in the Racing Post, about GBGB putting restrictions on the new permits. I don’t know what GBGB have to worry about. Nobody will be betting huge amounts here. We have a couple of bookies and there won’t be any money going into the betting shops.
“We copied a picture of today’s Racing Post onto the website and we are already having enquiries coming in. ”
Henlow’s Paul Mellor said: “I love the idea of having permit trained dogs here again. I have no idea how many of our old permit trainers who weren’t able to build kennels are still about. I suspect we lost a lot of them to the game when they couldn’t train themselves.”
Shawfield boss Billy King was probably the most powerful advocate of permits and racing manager Daniel Rankin said: “We are delighted that permit racing has been approved and we are talking to potential trainers and intend to put details in our racecard. The biggest problem we face is not knowing exactly what is being talked about and what the restrictions may be. The sooner we know, the better.”
I hope the return of the permit system works 'benny' But it's very early days yet?
Here's hoping it attracts some new young people into our sport which is much needed in my opinion and also who knows we could see a few old faces returning to the game in time.
I can't see any permit trainers being allowed to run there greyhounds in graded races at Belle Vue at this time but they will be able to enter there greyhounds in opens if there could enough to be accepted.
Yarmouth promoter Simon Franklin has spoken out in favour of full participation of permit trainers in racing.
With full details of the GBGB’s proposed changes to rules still to be announced, It has been rumoured that certain individuals within the regulatory arm of GBGB are aiming to prevent permit trained runners competing at BAGS tracks.
Franklin said: “On what grounds? We had permit racing here before over many years and it never presented a problem. God knows why they stopped it. The vast majority of our better trainers here began as permit trainers. In fact, you could probably say that they are still permit trainers – ‘with a kennel’.
“Whether or not someone races on BAGS should be down to the discretion of the racing office – be that permit or any other kind of trainer. If we get it wrong, we are the ones that answer to BAGS.
“Nobody is suggesting that you give them a permit licence one day and then give them BAGS runners the next, but no trainer, with or without a kennel, is allowed to do that.
“We are big advocates of permit racing at Yarmouth. The care and attention given by the owners is second to none.”
Despite the lack of a detailed statement from GBGB into the resurrected permit licensing regime, details are beginning to emerge of the recently agreed plan for a pilot scheme.
The scheme is to be tested at five non-BAGS tracks: Harlow, Henlow, Mildenhall, Pelaw Grange and Shawfield. It is anticipated that a draft proposal explaining the workings of the scheme will be presented at the next GBGB board meeting on December 2. If, as expected, it is approved, a notice will appear in the GBGB Calendar in December. It is likely that tracks will be given permission to trial permit runners immediately. This should be no later than the beginning of January. In the meantime, several of those tracks are inviting potential permit trainers to registered with them to enable a swift registration and grading process.
The core of the concept is that permit holders will be able to train up to four runners from their homes, or home kennels. Since all animals will be subject, like all pet dogs, to the Animal Welfare Act, they will not be subject to GBGB regulations until they arrive at the track where they will comply with all existing rules of racing.
Should the pilot scheme go to plan, it is likely that the authorised representatives from many of the remaining tracks will apply to have the scheme extended.
The Brewery, 52 Chiswell Street, London EC1Y 4SD - Sunday 29th January 2017
This year we have a change of scene for the sport’s annual prestigious awards ceremony. The finery of The Brewery, London EC1Y 4SD, will provide the setting for the event, which will be held on Sunday 29th January 2017. The superstars of 2016 will be recognised in every race division and in human award categories including Owner of the year, Trainer of the year, Kennelhand of the year, George Ford Award for Services to Retired Greyhounds and the GWA Harry Lloyd Trophy for Services to Greyhound Racing as well as a presentation to the 6th BAGS Track Championship winners.
Tickets are priced at £85 per person for the glittering black tie event (tables to seat groups of 10) and include a drinks reception, three course dinner, wine and dancing until late. Rooms are available at The Montcalm at The Brewery EC1Y 4SD and The Montcalm Royal London House EC2A 1DX at a discounted rate, details of which to follow.
Barry Faulkner, GBGB chief executive said:
“The GBGB Greyhound of the Year awards night is always a memorable occasion. The sense of excitement grows as we approach year end, as owners anticipate the inclusion of their pride and joy in the nominations for awards.
“Last year our awards were generously sponsored by BAGS, Betfred, Charles Russell Speechlys, Coral, Konica Minolta, Ladbrokes, Pinpoint Recruitment, Press Association Sport, Racing Post Greyhound TV, SIS and William Hill.
Again sponsorship opportunities for the various awards at this year’s event are available and they offer a great opportunity for companies to showcase their brand and join us on an evening of celebration of our great sport.”
We are expecting a high demand for tickets for this event, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
We have negotiated a discount at the Montcalm hotel, which is next door to the Brewery:
Rate: £150.00 plus VAT per room, per night for Double Deluxe Rooms for single occupancy £160.00 plus VAT per room, per night for Double Deluxe Rooms for double occupancy
Breakfast: Full English Breakfast is included
Rates include complimentary WIFI/high speed internet.
Requests can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org quoting GBGB290117 or contact the Reservations Team on 0207 479 2233
For further general information and the sponsorship opportunities available, please contact the GBGB on 0207 822 0907 or email email@example.com.
Hall Green are the first BAGS tracks to offer permit trainers a chance to run in graded races.
While GBGB are finalising plans to allow five tracks to start a trial, racing manager Rob Coulthard is taking contact details of anyone who would like to sign up to join Hall Green as soon as the scheme is approved.
He said: “I think permit racing is a great idea. I remember it well first time around and it was a great success. I don’t get why anyone would think it was an issue for BAGS tracks. If I am concerned about any of our professionals being a bit ‘hot’ they don’t get to run on BAGS anyway.
“Besides we have non-BAGS meetings too and there would always be plenty of races to take part in.
“I think small kennels are the way forward. As things stand only wealthy people can afford to build big kennels but a lot of young people will love to train their own dogs.
“We have Ross Williams who is in his early twenties who has five or six dogs with us. Him and his girlfriend love to turn up on a Saturday night with four or five runners. They are so enthusiastic, it is great for the game. I would love to have another 15 Ross Williams’ at the track.”
To place your interest, contact Hall Green racing office on 0870 840 7371.
The GBGB Board today agreed to support an initiative to create a newly recognised Owner Trainer Licence. Broadly speaking, this type of licence will allow an owner who wishes to train no more than 2 of their own racing greyhounds, to race at licensed GBGB tracks without the need for residential kennelling provisions and inspection. The relevant processes and procedures required in order to facilitate the new licence are being developed to enable the new licences to be issued as soon as practicable.