Damian Matthews, Chairman of The IGOBF, has advised that there is a licensing issue regarding the Tote application which is presently been reviewed by the board of GRI and Lifford Greyhound Stadium. All parties involved are working diligently to resolve as soon as possible.
Meeting between IGOBF and GRI dated March 8th 2022
IGOBF: Damien Matthews Chairman, Geoff Parnaby (for Susan Hayes Treasurer) Deirdre Leahy (Secretary)
GRI: Dearbhla O’Brien CEO, Derek Frehill (Director of Racing), Phillip Peake (Director of Commercial Affairs), William Fitzgerald (Director of Veterinary), John Touhy (Chief Financial Officer, Pat Herbert (Director of Regulations)
Issues arising from last meeting
GRI: – Only properly designated stewards will determine the re-trialling of a dog in the case of perceived interference etc.
Head on cameras to be introduced with a trial run within 4 weeks.
At present there is no room for appeal but that may be able to be amended under legislation Act 2019.
GRI to advise IGOBF of current protocol steps.
GRI are pleased with the increase in the numbers engaging with the RCÉTS app.
Phase 2 will bring new updates including individual veterinary logs per greyhound. GRI committed to consult with an IGOBF representative in phase 2 development of the RCÉTS app.
National Long Distance Race Programme
IGOBF representative suggested 1 night’s racing could be dedicated to all long-distance races over varying grades.
GRI were in favour of advancing this suggestion.
After consultation with the IGOBF, in order to encourage more long distance races in Ireland, GRI to announce a National long distance racing calendar.
IGOBF representative expressed disappointment that there has been no further movement regarding the Folen’s publication.
GRI will follow up and ask the Dept of Agriculture to communicate directly with the Dept of Education on the matter.
GRI advised that a steering group is being assembled regarding the survey which will include an IGOBF representative.
Presentation of representatives
GRI: -Issue of parade coats at a cost of twenty euro to participants with five euro going to IRGT.
Also compulsory for GRI staff.
Grading of Novices
GRI Managers also agree novices are an issue.
GRI committed to a full review of novice race conditions, which will include a representative of IGOBF, asap.
Livestreaming trap draws for major events
GRI committed to ensuring draws for Features & Classics will be streamed live on a social media platform going forward.
Guarding of Dogs in Classics
GRI advised that there is no appetite for this at the moment.
Our members are of the opinion that the current Irish regulation does not incentivise owners to invest in buying or to enter two/three plus greyhounds in the classic competitions as a direct consequence of this rule.
12 Key issues communicated from IGOBF members for the year ahead:
IGOBF representative went through the 12 Key Issues briefly with the following 3 issues being specifically addressed at this meeting.
Track Circuit Maintenance
GRI: -We are at present engaging with Sports Turf to get an overview of all individual track’s circuits. Actively working towards having a Metric for each track to achieve for that track to be at its safest. i.e., A camber measure and a moisture measure.
IGOBF requested an open and transparent track circuit maintenance schedule, displayed publicly within the race/trial area at all tracks.
IGOBF emphasized greyhound welfare is the number 1 priority and maintenance schedules must adjust to seasonal variants accordingly.
The schedule must be fluid and an emphasis needs to be on the ability to adjust daily according to local weather conditions
Complete review of Barking Buzz platform
IGOBF are requesting a complete review of the current Barking Buzz platform and suggest incorporating an outside consultant within this field.
GRI are in full agreement and are presently addressing this issue.
IGOBF requests greater transparency regarding drug testing & more emphasis on educating our members.
IGOBF requested that any changes to thresholds & withdrawal periods is published in race night cards.
General discussion concluding:
IGOBF Behind the track series 2 videos have been remarkably successful and well received. Fundraiser videos to be made and circulated.
IGOBF requested a link to share with members to expand that to other groups e.g., local GAA groups.
GRI advised the IGOBF that Kilkenny redevelopment project had completed all GRI processes and is with the Dept of Agriculture for approval.
Shelbourne Park capital project development is at the tendering process and scheduled to commence Jan 2023.
GRI requested IGOBF to encourage our members to present their dog at the podium for presentation of trophies and photos.
IGOBF are in total agreement.
We need to avail of any opportunity to promote our sport.
Respect needs to be expressed to tracks, photographers and sponsors.
Click here to view the 12 key issues that were addressed: 12 Key Issues
With the return to pre-COVID racing operations Greyhound Racing Ireland has in collaboration with the IGOBF designed a new standardised racing parade jacket for all handlers. The wearing of the previous style of racing coat was suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions.
The new version will carry the logo of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trusts who will benefit from a donation of €5.00 for every jacket sold.
In a change to the previous policy of the stadium providing parade jackets for handlers, all owners/handlers will now be required to purchase their own jackets either online or via the GRI Sales Centre. The cost of each jacket is €20.00, and this will include the donation to the IRGT.
Both the GRI & IGOBF have agreed that the wearing of the newly launched parade jacket will become compulsory from 19th April 2022.
Derek Frehill, Director of Racing said, “The roll-out of the revamped parade jacket will help us to create a unified look across all venues and convey the professionalism of our racing trainers & handlers. With the growing profile of Irish greyhound racing via such platforms as SIS and RPGTV, the inclusion of the IRGT logo on each jacket also offers us an opportunity to reinforce the brand and the partnership between racing and the IRGT.” he continued, ” I would also like to thank the IGBOF for their support in developing the concept and working with the racing team to get to launch stage”.
Damian Matthews, Chairman, IGOBF said, “With the expansion of international audiences watching Irish greyhound racing, the IGOBF recognise the importance of presenting the profession of greyhound racing in the best possible manner. The introduction of these new jackets permit to present a unified image of our sport”.
Full details on the scheme and how to purchase jackets are available here:
Calling all youngsters to get their final entries into our competition ”A Day in the Life”! Closing date approaching fast.
We want to see what “A Day in the Life” with your greyhounds looks like. If you wish to enter, just take a picture or a video with your greyhounds and get your parents/guardians to share it on social media using the hashtag #adayinthelifeofagreyhound and tag our social media page to make sure we see it!
You can also send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date is March 31st.
Catch up with all episodes of the Behind The Track Series here:
Behind The Track is a series of short videos that takes us into the lives of Irish racing greyhounds and those that care for them most.
This channel aims to promote awareness of the great lives racing greyhounds have in Ireland.
Behind The Track Series 1 Playlist
Behind The Track Series 2 Playlist
BEHIND THE TRACK SERIES 1
PART 1 – FOR THE LOVE OF THE DOGS – FIONNUALA MOLONEY TIMARU KENNELS
PART 2 – JIMMY BARRY-MURPHY’S LOVE OF GREYHOUND RACING
PART 3 – JOHN KENNY WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
PART 4 – CARE OF GREYHOUNDS – DENIS BEARY & PAT GUILFOYLE
PART 5 – LESLEY BARBER TAKES YOU THROUGH HER LIFE WITH GREYHOUNDS
PART 6 – DENIS FITZGERALD – 99% OF US ARE GOOD HONEST PEOPLE
PART 7 – DAMIAN MATTHEWS SPEAKS OUT – GREYHOUNDS ARE THE MOST REGULATED CANINES IN THE WORLD
BEHIND THE TRACK SERIES 2
PART 1 – ON TRACK WITH IRELAND’S FITTEST FAMILY 2021
PART 2 – GREYHOUND RACING RAISES €8 MILLION ANNUALLY FOR WORTHY CAUSES IN IRELAND
PART 3 – BEHIND THE SCENES AT KILKENNY GREYHOUND STADIUM
PART 4 – A DAY IN THE LIFE AT TOWNVIEW KENNELS
PART 5 – REHOMING GREYHOUNDS
PART 6 – ENNISCORTHY GREYHOUND STADIUM
In the final installment – part 6 of the Behind The Track #OurGreyhoundsOurLives Series, we get a sense of the wonderful atmosphere at Enniscorthy Greyhound Stadium and its importance to the local community.
“Owners and trainers….they all want to get their dogs rehomed.”
“They are loving. They are calm. They don’t need much exercise. They are just fantastic animals. They really are”.
In Part 5 of the Behind The Track #OurGreyhoundsOurLives Series, Brigid Frank and Lesley Pullen take us through the rehoming process for greyhounds following their racing career.
“It’s a long running tradition in our family. My father Damian, he trains the greyhounds with my grandfather, who started it all 40 or 50 years ago”.
In Part 4 of the Behind The Track #OurGreyhoundsOurLives Series, Adam Matthews takes us through a day in the life at Town View Kennels. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-n7xsW6BF4
In conjunction with this release, The IGOBF are running a very exciting competition! They are calling on all their young supporters to share what ‘A Day in the Life’ with their greyhounds looks like. See the attached poster for details.
Greyhound Racing Ireland today announced that Matchbook Betting Exchange have renewed their sponsorship of the Irish St. Leger at Limerick Greyhound Stadium for 2022, continuing their support for the Greyhound Racing Industry in Ireland. The Classic race has been one of the centrepieces of the annual Irish greyhound racing calendar since its inception in 1944.
This year the event will run from Saturday 12th November to Saturday 10th December with a first-place prize fund of €30,000.
Dearbhla O’Brien, CEO of the Greyhound Racing Ireland, said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with Matchbook Betting Exchange, and this year marks the 78th anniversary of the Irish St. Leger. The Classic Final, hosted at Limerick Greyhound Stadium, is an iconic sporting event with a long and illustrious history. We are thrilled to work with an innovative brand such as Matchbook. Despite the global challenges of 2021, the team locally worked hard to ensure The Irish St. Leger was a fantastic event, and we relish the year ahead and what is certain to be another competitive renewal”.
Eric Hegarty, Chief Marketing Officer at Matchbook Betting Exchange, said: “At Matchbook, we are proud to be associated with such a distinguished event with a proud history, and we are delighted to once again partner with Greyhound Racing Ireland as the title sponsor of the St Leger. Last year’s competition was a terrific success, and the opportunity to promote the Matchbook Brand and our Greyhound Betting Markets while continuing to support the Greyhound racing industry in Ireland is one that we are incredibly excited about.
Our Greyhound betting markets continue to be industry-leading, and we now also offer competitive prices on races from Limerick, Tralee, Cork, Mullingar, Youghal and Waterford, which many other operators largely ignore. We urge anyone searching for value on their bets to check out Matchbook.com now”.
𝗕𝗥𝗘𝗔𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗡𝗘𝗪𝗦 Racing Post Greyhounds TV has underlined its commitment to Irish greyhound racing by agreeing three major sponsorship deals for 2022 with Mullingar Greyhound Stadium‘s Cesarewitch plus the Juvenile Derby and Puppy Oaks at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium all coming under the channel’s banner.
This follows on from a near 50 per cent increase to a minimum of 19 live Irish broadcasts was announced last month, the first of which saw Skywalker Barry’s RCETS Gold Cup victory shown at the start of February. Read more about this great news on Talking Dogs on https://bit.ly/3uVxbe8.
RPGTV 2022 Irish coverage
|Fri||11-Mar||Juvenile Unraced Clasic||Tralee|
|Fri||22-Apr||Con & Annie Kirby Memorial||Limerick|
|Sat||03-Sep||Irish Derby 3rd Round||Shelbourne|
|Sat||10-Sep||Irish Derby Q-Finals||Shelbourne|
|Sat||17-Sep||Irish Derby Semi-Finals||Shelbourne|
|Sat||24-Sep||Irish Derby Final||Shelbourne|
|Sat||10-Dec||Irish St. Leger||Limerick|
|Thu||29-Dec||Winter Festival Day 1||Shelbourne|
|Fri||30-Dec||Winter Festival Day 2||Shelbourne|
In Part 3 of #OurGreyhoundsOurLives, Behind The Track Series 2, we visit Kilkenny Greyhound Stadium, where we see all the behind the scenes action and preparation that goes into the running of a race meeting.
1. Save our tracks initiatives and track support and sponsorship.
*The IGOBF was at the heart of negotiations and the fight to keep Enniscorthy track open.
*Sponsorship of prizemoney for competitions e.g. The IGOBF National Puppy Final at Shelbourne Park.
The IGOBF also sponsored the private tracks during the Memorial Night of racing on November 12th/13th and The IGOBF were central to negotiations which saw prizemoney for all races doubled on that occasion. The Memorial night was organised to remember all the lives of those people from the greyhound community who passed away between March 2020 and November 2021.
It was very well received by our members and by the wider greyhound community and generated a lot of excellent publicity.
2. Ongoing communications with GRI on behalf of our members.
Promotion of new rehoming, welfare and traceability measures and communication re same to all our members via social media, emails, WhatsApp groups and through the individual GOBAS.
3. Delegates from The IGOBF and affiliated GOBAS have spoken positively about greyhound racing on several occasions on local and national radio programmes.
They have also defended the greyhound community in the national and local media.
4. Letters to newspapers have been written and published and The IGOBF, the Irish Coursing Club and Greyhound Racing Ireland issued a joint statement objecting to the text in a Folens school textbook which caused widespread consternation amongst greyhound families and the greyhound community.
This matter is still ongoing between Folens, GRI, the ICC and The IGOBF.
5. Throughout the pandemic the IGOBF has shared the numerous updates and changes in health and safety protocols with all members and our GOBAS cooperated so there were COVID officers in place at the tracks.
6. Individual GOBAS have sponsored stakes and various races at their local tracks.
E.g. The recent Intertrack (Thurles v Clonmel) competition held at Clonmel stadium during the 2022 Coursing festival was sponsored by Tipperary GOBA.
7. The IGOBF surveyed the nine GOBAS for their key priorities and have made an executive summary of these priorities which will be discussed with our new CEO at a meeting the date of which remains to be confirmed.
8. The IGOBF commissioned and sponsored two series of videos entitled BehindTheTrack in 2021 and 2022.
These docuseries have been very well received and supported and have been shared with hundreds of thousands of views on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok and Youtube.
Series 1 BehindTheTrack 2021
Series 2 BehindTheTrack 2022
9. Statements pertaining to important matters in the greyhound industry published on The Greyhound Star.
10. Positive media coverage.
Newspapers, Racing Post TV appearances by The IGOBF chairman Damian Matthews, podcast interviews and YouTube videos.
11. The IGOBF has been working very hard to bring about the restoration of greyhound racing to Northern Ireland.
12. Promotion of Greyhound racing on local radio stations and in the local newspapers.
The chairman of The IGOBF coordinated with delegates to organize regular reports and slots on the sports programmes on the local radio stations.
13. The IGOBF has coordinated communication to the Minister for Agriculture on behalf of its members on many occasions.
(Letter writing from members saying what greyhound racing means to them).
14. Represented and brought local issues from various tracks to the board of GRI and at the Greyhound forum on behalf of members.
See minutes of meetings with GRI and Consultative forum minutes.
15. A dedicated team of loyal members that work closely with the executive of The IGOBF have established very popular and well supported social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok.
All these social media groups are helping the IGOBF discuss, plan and attain the objectives for our members.
These online groups have many thousands of members and have had millions of views online.
Facebook – Irish Greyhounds Sunrise to Sunset
Twitter – GreyhoundsSunrise2Sunset
Instagram – Irishgreyhoundsunrise2sunset
Tiktok – Irish Greyhound Community
All these groups have numerous links with other pro racing supporting websites and social media networking.
E.g. Racing Greyhounds Of Ireland (Facebook), Greyhound Chat (Facebook)
It means that the online greyhound community plays a vibrant and active role in communicating knowledge, best welfare practices, news from racing and the most recent updates relevant to our sport.