Towcester Racecourse to be home of the English Greyhound Derby for next five years....
Following a meeting of the Derby panel, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain is delighted to announce that not only will Towcester Racecourse host the Greyhound Derby in 2022, they will also host it for the next five years – up to and including 2026.
Having reviewed Towcester’s detailed bid, the panel were unanimous in supporting the track’s 2022 bid and also recommended to the main GBGB Board that it should, subject to contract, be awarded the hosting of the event until 2026. This recommendation was subsequently agreed by the GBGB Board.
Mark Bird, Managing Director of GBGB, said:
“We are pleased that the Greyhound Derby now has a more permanent home and we look forward to seeing it grow and evolve during its time at Towcester. Our thanks to Towcester for submitting their bid and for their continued enthusiasm for hosting our sport’s premier race. We look forward to working closely with them to ensure the 2022 Derby and those that follow are a real success.”
Kevin Boothby, Promoter at Towcester Racecourse, said:
“We are absolutely delighted that Towcester will be the home of the Greyhound Derby for the next five years. We put on a good show last year under difficult circumstances and we look forward to putting on an even bigger and better one next year.
“We are so lucky to have the grounds and space here at Towcester and, with more time to plan, we will seek to give our spectators a fantastic experience whilst ensuing the stars of our sport receive the very best care and attention whilst at the track. In terms of prize money, we are committing to a minimum of £175,000 a year for the winners of the Derby and – if we are able – we will look to increase this.
“We are so pleased and thank the GBGB Board and the Derby panel for their support.”
This week, GBGB held its annual Track Vet Training Day which was attended virtually by track vets from across all of GBGB’s licensed racecourses. As the event was held online this year GBGB was able to welcome veterinary experts from across the globe to discuss the latest cutting-edge research into greyhound welfare, safety and care.
A highlight of the day was a presentation by Dr Steven Karamatic, Chief Veterinarian at Greyhound Racing Victoria in Australia who, alongside Professor Tim Morris, presented a global review into medication control in racing greyhounds.
Participants also heard from the University of Nottingham’s Professor Richard Payne who reported on the latest findings from the Disease Surveillance and Monitoring Programme. This research programme, which is run in partnership with GBGB, seeks to identify and monitor contagious diseases amongst the greyhound population. This year, the programme looked into the prevalence of non-typical kennel cough. As well as supporting GBGB’s response to the nationwide outbreak, the findings were shared with general pet clinicians across the country.
During the afternoon, recently appointed GBGB Independent Director, Professor Madeleine Campbell, delivered a thought-provoking presentation entitled ‘Sporting Animals, Ethics, and Us’ that explored the ethical arguments for greyhound racing. As part of this, she discussed her work in developing GBGB’s new overarching and holistic welfare strategy, A Good Life for Every Greyhound, which will be published next Spring.
As well as leading experts and professors, the track vets also heard from five young researchers carrying out work in the field of racing greyhounds. Lucy Waterman, Jessica Oliver, Stacey Powers, Lucy Porter and Katie Reynolds from the University of Nottingham delved into GBGB’s extensive veterinary data as part of their degree study. They presented their research into various topics ranging from minerals in the eyes of greyhounds, trends in gracilis injuries and canine hemorrhagic pneumonia (CHP).
We would also like to extend our thanks to Graham Dick, President of the charity Vetlife, who introduced the vital work his organisation does each week to support veterinary professionals across the country.
Dr Simon Gower, GBGB Veterinary Director, said:
“As veterinarians working within greyhound racing, our overarching goal is to continue to improve the lives of racing greyhounds before, during and after their careers on the track.
“This event was a fantastic opportunity to get together and explore the latest research and data. It was especially important this year that we came together and reflect on the impact of the pandemic on our athletes’ health and wellbeing. It was an inspiring day with presentations from students to professors and we are hugely grateful to all the speakers for their rigorously researched and wide-ranging contributions.
“One benefit of holding the event virtually this year meant that we were able to welcome colleagues from across the globe as both speakers and guests. Thank you to everyone who made the event such a success and I very much hope that we can meet again in person next year.”