Breeding down but customer shortage still holding back greyhounds

ONE of the more stark comparisons to be made between 2003 and 2013 is that fewer litters are being whelped but more greyhounds are being named, according to Greyhounds Australasia data which has now been updated to the 2013 year (where is 2014, you might ask?).

The corollary to that is another curate’s egg situation – good in parts: making use of a bigger proportion of the dog population is a good thing from a welfare viewpoint, but at the same time it says field standards must be dropping as more bottom level dogs are put into the racing mix.

The fall in litter numbers is consistent with anecdotal statements from some trainer/breeders that pups are more difficult to sell at the moment. How much that has been influenced by live baiting publicity is unknown but it will be something to watch in the future. That said, it is hard to spot any decline in wagering over the last couple of months.

Answers to these “why” questions could be found only after conducting some serious research amongst both the general public and racing participants. Nationally, of course. State by state figures for breeding could be highly misleading.

Here are the key changes over the decade to 2013.

Past Discussion

  1. There are a lot of people in vic not breeding because they cant sell pups because they are saying that everything is going to wheeler and they cant afford to keep full litters themselves without selling a few.Until vic start restricting him like nsw do then things will go down hill even further.

  2. There are a lot of people in vic not breeding because they cant sell pups because they are saying that everything is going to wheeler and they cant afford to keep full litters themselves without selling a few.Until vic start restricting him like nsw do then things will go down hill even further.

  3. burra man I have read through your posts on your profile and I agree with a lot you are saying. However the basic problem is one of exports and imports which are not included in the raw statistics put out by GA. Greyhound Racing is a National Sport and currently Victoria pays 37% roughly of the prize money available Nationally and including NZ. The leading breeder/owner accounts for roughly 4% ( 2% for himself less exes and 2% for his trainers less their exes) of the prize money nationally and this includes a large chunk out of the Victorian purse but it is less than 4%. Because Victoria is paying well over the odds compared to the other states in prize money the best class greyhounds are being sent to Victoria to race. This means there are absent owners ie owners from interstate sending their greyhounds to Victoria to be trained by Victorians or else they are selling the greyhounds to Victorian Interests. For the average breeder in Victoria to succeed they must have superior litters to the national average and to some extent breeding is a lottery anyway. The situation allows the leading Greyhound Trainers in Victoria to offer deals to intestate owners on a prize money share basis. The system in Victoria seems to have some restrictive practices as some of the leading trainers have poor success percentages (previous trainer statistics now not available as the National Greyhound form guide pulled the plug on providing statistics). Even allowing for the above this leaves the average greyhound participant out on the cold.
    The situation in NSW is more dire for trainers and owners as trainers have to depend more on receiving training fees from owners rather than a prize money split because they constantly face the prospect of the good greyhounds they are training being sent to Victoria. However the competition at the Metro and Tab level in NSW is not as strong as in Victoria but the costs of getting the smaller prize money are considerable.

    Since the arrival of the productivity commission racing benefits have been assessed on gross domestic product both on the national and state benefit. The science is incomplete unless the receipts are balanced  by the inclusion of exports less imports.  The other factor missing from this relatively new science is the benefit of intangibles which include cultural and recreational and health benefits.

    My take is that the central statistics provided at the GA level are far too pedestrian to be of much advantage to man or beast but they certainly make greyhound racing a target for others.

  4. burra man I have read through your posts on your profile and I agree with a lot you are saying. However the basic problem is one of exports and imports which are not included in the raw statistics put out by GA. Greyhound Racing is a National Sport and currently Victoria pays 37% roughly of the prize money available Nationally and including NZ. The leading breeder/owner accounts for roughly 4% ( 2% for himself less exes and 2% for his trainers less their exes) of the prize money nationally and this includes a large chunk out of the Victorian purse but it is less than million(break up not available). Because Victoria is paying well over the odds compared to the other states in prize money the best class greyhounds are being sent to Victoria to race. This means there are absent owners ie owners from interstate sending their greyhounds to Victoria to be trained by Victorians or else they are selling the greyhounds to Victorian Interests. For the average breeder in Victoria to succeed they must have superior litters to the national average and to some extent breeding is a lottery anyway. The situation allows the leading Greyhound Trainers in Victoria to offer deals to intestate owners on a prize money share basis. The system in Victoria seems to have some restrictive practices as some of the leading trainers have poor success percentages (previous trainer statistics now not available as the National Greyhound form guide pulled the plug on providing statistics). Even allowing for the above this leaves the average greyhound participant out on the cold.

    The situation in NSW is more dire for trainers and owners as trainers have to depend more on receiving training fees from owners rather than a prize money split because they constantly face the prospect of the good greyhounds they are training being sent to Victoria. However the competition at the Metro and Tab level in NSW is not as strong as in Victoria but the costs of getting the smaller prize money are considerable.

    Since the arrival of the productivity commission racing benefits have been assessed on gross domestic product both on the national and state benefit. The science is incomplete unless the receipts are balanced  by the inclusion of exports less imports.  The other factor missing from this relatively new science is the benefit of intangibles which include cultural and recreational and health benefits.

    My take is that the central statistics provided at the GA level are far too pedestrian to be of much advantage to man or beast but they certainly make greyhound racing a target for others.

  5. John Tracey burra man I only know what i have been told by people in vic that used to breed but wont now .I have never bred a litter myself but i feel very sorry for the people who have been squeezed out of the game .

  6. John Tracey burra man I only know what i have been told by people in vic that used to breed but wont now .I have never bred a litter myself but i feel very sorry for the people who have been squeezed out of the game .

  7. John Tracey When you say it is harder for nsw trainers than vic did you take into account that the chances of getting a run in nsw is much easier even though the prizemoney isnt as good as vic but nsw trainers have much better chance of getting a run .Down here and in sa most meetings have 20 to 30 wheeler dogs getting a run ahead of local trainers that have much better form than some of wheelers dogs that get a run.I would prefer to get a run for less money than have the dog sitting at home doing nothing.As they say small fish are better than no fish but a lot of problems will be solved in vic and sa if wheeler carries through with his threat to sell everything to china.The sooner the better i say

  8. John Tracey When you say it is harder for nsw trainers than vic did you take into account that the chances of getting a run in nsw is much easier even though the prizemoney isnt as good as vic but nsw trainers have much better chance of getting a run .Down here and in sa most meetings have 20 to 30 wheeler dogs getting a run ahead of local trainers that have much better form than some of wheelers dogs that get a run.I would prefer to get a run for less money than have the dog sitting at home doing nothing.As they say small fish are better than no fish but a lot of problems will be solved in vic and sa if wheeler carries through with his threat to sell everything to china.The sooner the better i say 

  9. burra man John Tracey I think the point that you are making is that is important for most people to have the activity of racing as compared to economics of it. It is easy to get a run in NSW but the cost of preparing a dog to race, attending a race course within working hours and the maintenance of a greyhound who needs a lot more starts in races to get the same prize money as the trainers get in Victoria coupled with this the trainers costs also involve losing the greyhound to Victoria or other States. The owners only have the additional expense of sending the greyhound interstate. 

    It is not rocket science that there have been problems of administration in Victoria as two boards of GRA have been sacked within a short period.

    The system of racing in Victoria is probably unfair, I can relate to a situation I attended when I was the guest of the Tweed Heads Club as their country representative on the GRNSW Board. I was with the president when a leading Victorian trainer approached the President and complained that his dog was not in the draw for the Galaxy consolations worth $2,000. The president pointed out that the trainer’s dog was not drawn because it had run fourth and the conditions were for the slow winners and the place getters. The trainer argued that he was a professional trainer depending on prize money to make his income and that he had travelled 2,000Ks to attend the series and he demanded special treatment on these grounds. The request was refused and the trainer went ballistic. no trainer in NSW would have had the exulted expectations of the Victorian trainer and it was obvious to all that in Victoria leading trainers get the royal treatment under a grading system which was done on grader’s discretion.

    Your point about the opportunities for trainers/owners in Victoria to succeed if greyhounds are traded with ASia applies to far more owners than just the one person. 
    It is a breach of logic to conclude that because one person is benefiting from a competitive or a non competitive system that he is the reason for the system existing rather than being the beneficiary of it.

    You know.

    All trees are green
    All peas are green
    Therefore all trees are peas.

    All you do when you single out one person is you give the person all his rights under the law.Eventually, the debate becomes personality charged and you cant see the woods for the trees. If there is any doubt I play people as I see them, I have always had good dealings with the leading breeder commercially and otherwise so thats where I stand, sorry if that is a bit too oriental for some.

  10. burra man John Tracey I think the point that you are making is that is important for most people to have the activity of racing as compared to economics of it. It is easy to get a run in NSW but the cost of preparing a dog to race, attending a race course within working hours and the maintenance of a greyhound who needs a lot more starts in races to get the same prize money as the trainers get in Victoria coupled with this the trainers costs also involve losing the greyhound to Victoria or other States. The owners only have the additional expense of sending the greyhound interstate. 

    It is not rocket science that there have been problems of administration in Victoria as two boards of GRA have been sacked within a short period.

    The system of racing in Victoria is probably unfair, I can relate to a situation I attended when I was the guest of the Tweed Heads Club as their country representative on the GRNSW Board. I was with the president when a leading Victorian trainer approached the President and complained that his dog was not in the draw for the Galaxy consolations worth ,000. The president pointed out that the trainer’s dog was not drawn because it had run fourth and the conditions were for the slow winners and the place getters. The trainer argued that he was a professional trainer depending on prize money to make his income and that he had travelled 2,000Ks to attend the series and he demanded special treatment on these grounds. The request was refused and the trainer went ballistic. no trainer in NSW would have had the exulted expectations of the Victorian trainer and it was obvious to all that in Victoria leading trainers get the royal treatment under a grading system which was done on grader’s discretion.

    Your point about the opportunities for trainers/owners in Victoria to succeed if greyhounds are traded with ASia applies to far more owners than just the one person. 

    It is a breach of logic to conclude that because one person is benefiting from a competitive or a non competitive system that he is the reason for the system existing rather than being the beneficiary of it.

    You know.

    All trees are green

    All peas are green

    Therefore all trees are peas.

    All you do when you single out one person is you give the person all his rights under the law.Eventually, the debate becomes personality charged and you cant see the woods for the trees. If there is any doubt I play people as I see them, I have always had good dealings with the leading breeder commercially and otherwise so thats where I stand, sorry if that is a bit too oriental for some. 

  11. The lopsided Breeders Bonus in Queensland does not help, it’s not a breeders bonus when the breeder gets 30% and the owner 70% where’s the logic? No logic in Queensland where almost everyday something is mentioned in relation to live baiting fuelled by incompetent RQ Board whose removal is vital

  12. The lopsided Breeders Bonus in Queensland does not help, it’s not a breeders bonus when the breeder gets 30% and the owner 70% where’s the logic? No logic in Queensland where almost everyday something is mentioned in relation to live baiting fuelled by incompetent RQ Board whose removal is vital

  13. burra man John Tracey 

    I think if Mr Wheeler sells all his dogs to China (as he has reported himself) then he will find it hard to export them all to China or Vietnam as Greyhounds Australasia will not issue dog passports for those countries. The only way round it is to retire them all and then they could be exported as pets and GA can do nothing about it unfortunately. So the other way he could do it is that who ever buys his dogs will have to leave them here. Knowing Mr Wheeler he will no doughtily take on the authorities as they are afraid of him.

  14. burra man John Tracey 

    I think if Mr Wheeler sells all his dogs to China (as he has reported himself) then he will find it hard to export them all to China or Vietnam as Greyhounds Australasia will not issue dog passports for those countries. The only way round it is to retire them all and then they could be exported as pets and GA can do nothing about it unfortunately. So the other way he could do it is that who ever buys his dogs will have to leave them here. Knowing Mr Wheeler he will no doughtily take on the authorities as they are afraid of him.

  15. Recluse 60 burra man John Tracey I’m paraphrasing but the NSW Inquiry last year had noted the concerns of both Industry and non-industry over exports but said it was a matter for the Commonwealth. I checked their site and there is a form for exporting Greys for racing/breeding. (note I am staying non-emotive as my past rants have not been useful and inaccurate).

  16. Recluse 60 burra man John Tracey I’m paraphrasing but the NSW Inquiry last year had noted the concerns of both Industry and non-industry over exports but said it was a matter for the Commonwealth. I checked their site and there is a form for exporting Greys for racing/breeding. (note I am staying non-emotive as my past rants have not been useful and inaccurate).

  17. Dezzey Recluse 60 burra man John Tracey That is correct but the passport form is issued after the federal export licence is granted. This was the situation when I made my enquiry to the Federal Department. Situations can change, it would be better in the long run if China was an affiliate of The Australian States and the condition of racing and breeding greyhounds was universal but this is not the case. My last contact with the financial review reporter etc was an e-mail in June 1910 (copy retained) I also made notes of phone calls with the federal department and others. I think that greyhounds are classified along with others as companion animals for the purpose of export.

  18. Dezzey Recluse 60 burra man John Tracey That is correct but the passport form is issued after the federal export licence is granted. This was the situation when I made my enquiry to the Federal Department. Situations can change, it would be better in the long run if China was an affiliate of The Australian States and the condition of racing and breeding greyhounds was universal but this is not the case. My last contact with the financial review reporter etc was an e-mail in June 1910 (copy retained) I also made notes of phone calls with the federal department and others. I think that greyhounds are classified along with others as companion animals for the purpose of export. 

  19. People down here including myself attack the one person because he would have to be the only owner in aust that kept sending dogs to someone he knew had a positive to ICE as far back as january .He knows as well as everyone else down here that bate is training the dogs and hunt mitchell and davis are only names .Why would any honest breeder give dogs to davis when she has only had a licence since it was evident that hunt was going to get rubbed out.And what about his other lurk to buck the system because of our limit on 2 dogs per owner per race unless the noms are extended then he can have more dogs in so he has instructed his trainers not to nom for meadows wed so he can get away with more in.You might call that fair but most people would call it fraud.As far as i am concerned he is nothing but a rotten cheat and should be held accountable when his trainers turn up positive swabs to ICE and other drugs .His only conscience is the almighty dollar and he doesnt care how he gets that dollar and he is   morally bankrupt . A monopoly is no good for anyone and i cant think of any trainers that have 30 or more dogs in at a meeting the only word for that is GREED .Top trainers like the brittons dont want his  dogs.Retired top sth aust trainer colin wachtel told him to stick his dogs and top sth aust trainer peta jovanovic told him to stick his dogs so he has to give them to drug cheats like bate hunt and now davis people at the meadows yesterday were betting on how long it will be before davis starts turning up positive swabs .I wonder if they do swabs in china.

  20. People down here including myself attack the one person because he would have to be the only owner in aust that kept sending dogs to someone he knew had a positive to ICE as far back as january .He knows as well as everyone else down here that bate is training the dogs and hunt mitchell and davis are only names .Why would any honest breeder give dogs to davis when she has only had a licence since it was evident that hunt was going to get rubbed out.And what about his other lurk to buck the system because of our limit on 2 dogs per owner per race unless the noms are extended then he can have more dogs in so he has instructed his trainers not to nom for meadows wed so he can get away with more in.You might call that fair but most people would call it fraud.As far as i am concerned he is nothing but a rotten cheat and should be held accountable when his trainers turn up positive swabs to ICE and other drugs .His only conscience is the almighty dollar and he doesnt care how he gets that dollar and he is   morally bankrupt . A monopoly is no good for anyone and i cant think of any trainers that have 30 or more dogs in at a meeting the only word for that is GREED .Top trainers like the brittons dont want his  dogs.Retired top sth aust trainer colin wachtel told him to stick his dogs and top sth aust trainer peta jovanovic told him to stick his dogs so he has to give them to drug cheats like bate hunt and now davis people at the meadows yesterday were betting on how long it will be before davis starts turning up positive swabs .I wonder if they do swabs in china.

  21. Saying the authorities are frightened of wheeler is not really right the former 2 grv boards have looked after wheeler so well they have created a monster and the new board are doing every thing they can to make a level playing field for everyone .Thers is no doubt that some on previous grv boards would have swept the 3 positives to ICE under the carpet to protect him but now they are hitting him very hard so hard that he is running out of trainers down here .The council around where most of his dogs are trained at anakie and lara is now looking at only allowing 2 dogs per property now so that will bring him back to the field a bit but he will probably find some way around that he seems to find ways around most of grv rules

  22. Saying the authorities are frightened of wheeler is not really right the former 2 grv boards have looked after wheeler so well they have created a monster and the new board are doing every thing they can to make a level playing field for everyone .Thers is no doubt that some on previous grv boards would have swept the 3 positives to ICE under the carpet to protect him but now they are hitting him very hard so hard that he is running out of trainers down here .The council around where most of his dogs are trained at anakie and lara is now looking at only allowing 2 dogs per property now so that will bring him back to the field a bit but he will probably find some way around that he seems to find ways around most of grv rules

  23. Just on the subject of bias here is a statement which shows a good example of it. 
    Cut and Paste.
    The chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria, Peter Caillard, resigned over the controversy last month.
    The resignations came after Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna released a report which found there was no “direct” evidence of live baiting at any track other than Tooradin.
    However the report said it would be “naive” to accept that the practice was not and had not been going on elsewhere.
    On the balance of probabilities, Mr Perna said, GRV could not have been expected to know about the practice considering their lack of powers to inspect properties.

  24. Just on the subject of bias here is a statement which shows a good example of it. 

    Cut and Paste.

    The chairman of Greyhound Racing Victoria, Peter Caillard, resigned over the controversy last month.

    The resignations came after Racing Integrity Commissioner Sal Perna released a report which found there was no “direct” evidence of live baiting at any track other than Tooradin.

    However the report said it would be “naive” to accept that the practice was not and had not been going on elsewhere.

    On the balance of probabilities, Mr Perna said, GRV could not have been expected to know about the practice considering their lack of powers to inspect properties.

  25. Re my reply to Burra man it should read (temporary owner) rather than trainer temporary owner. The point is that in informal 50/50 arrangements the trainer is also the effective owner in bulk transactions and the rules should take this into consideration.

    Just on the China conditions.

    Hers is a cut and paste of a GRNSW approved article on the subject.

    http://www.thedogs.com.au/NewsArticle.aspx?NewsId=4378

  26. burra man my point is that if a trainer has thirty or more dogs in a meeting then there is a problem with the system rather than the trainer.Your assertions will be tested to some degree by potential criminal charges and these matters need to be tested in court. However, some of the matter you are bringing up show clearly that there are problems at the perception level and perceptions are as important as realities when branding of greyhound racing is needed.The early greyhound racing branded itself by relating to the famous people who attended the racecourse rather than the trainers of greyhounds. Also famous and big punting owners and race attendees were also publicised. The sycophantic reverence to trainers by greyhound journalists is a big risk branding exercise and needs to be looked into. A lot of what you are posting shows to me weaknesses in the informal handshake system where an owner transfers the ownership of the greyhounds on fifty/fifty arrangements. There should be a system where the greyhound’s ownership is transferred always by a formal lease. This situation would divorce the breeder from ownership under an agreed formal conditions. 
    Just getting back to the situation of this tread which involves the lament that participant and public numbers are down in greyhound racing and what can be done about it. It would be helpful if breeders could lease more dogs to owners apart from the trainers and then the lessee (trainers temporary owners) could make arrangements with trainers. The above would see more owners in the game. I think that the problem with the 50/50 informal leases is that the trainer becomes the effective owner/trainer with a massive number of dogs this keeps other owners out.

  27. burra man my point is that if a trainer has thirty or more dogs in a meeting then there is a problem with the system rather than the trainer.Your assertions will be tested to some degree by potential criminal charges and these matters need to be tested in court. However, some of the matter you are bringing up show clearly that there are problems at the perception level and perceptions are as important as realities when branding of greyhound racing is needed.The early greyhound racing branded itself by relating to the famous people who attended the racecourse rather than the trainers of greyhounds. Also famous and big punting owners and race attendees were also publicised. The sycophantic reverence to trainers by greyhound journalists is a big risk branding exercise and needs to be looked into. A lot of what you are posting shows to me weaknesses in the informal handshake system where an owner transfers the ownership of the greyhounds on fifty/fifty arrangements. There should be a system where the greyhound’s ownership is transferred always by a formal lease. This situation would divorce the breeder from ownership under an agreed formal conditions. 

    Just getting back to the situation of this tread which involves the lament that participant and public numbers are down in greyhound racing and what can be done about it. It would be helpful if breeders could lease more dogs to owners apart from the trainers and then the lessee (trainers temporary owners) could make arrangements with trainers. The above would see more owners in the game. I think that the problem with the 50/50 informal leases is that the trainer becomes the effective owner/trainer with a massive number of dogs this keeps other owners out.  

  28. Re my reply to Burra man it should read (temporary owner) rather than trainer temporary owner. The point is that in informal 50/50 arrangements the trainer is also the effective owner in bulk transactions and the rules should take this into consideration.
    Just on the China conditions.
    Hers is a cut and paste of a GRNSW approved article on the subject.

    http://www.thedogs.com.au/NewsArticle.aspx?NewsId=4378

  29. Todman The NSW response has developed further with the letters patent being withdrawn and replaced  by an inquiry to be held by the retired high court judge and council assisting together with assistance from the Crown Solicitor, the control board and other interests have been removed from the judicial process.

    Interesting points are under the quality assurance requirements and the witnesses sect 22,23,24 under the special commission inquiry act 1983.

    In NSW they are obviously sorting the procedures out before they start.

    Here is the revised letters patent.

    http://www.greyhoundracinginquiry.justice.nsw.gov.au/Documents/Letters_Patent_dated_6_May_2015.pdf

  30. Dezzey Pink Penny burra man The GA ban is on issuing their domestic passports not on the export to China. The export of animals overseas is in the province of the Federal Department under federal law. If you want to ban trade with Asia then you need to take it up with the Federal Government. The reason that the trade in greyhounds with China is so secretive may have something to do with dealers wanting to keep their business commercially confidential rather than the proposition ,which seems self serving to me, that the welfare of greyhounds is not protected because there are no adoption scheme companies operating in China. The above statement may or may not be right and there might be other cultural differences that offend us as well. There are 110 million domestic dogs in China and a reported 300 greyhound tracks and a middle class buying up Australian greyhounds at an increasing rate. The situation in Macau will resolve itself when mainline China will or is now more than able to supply racing Greyhounds to its Islands and neighbours.
    I think that Greyhound Racing generally should be able to benefit from the export of greyhounds and I thought that if some fee like the passport licence could be established the money could be used for the whole of racing. I think that it would be better for animal welfare for all countries that we have legitimate trade agreements with in animal exports to be brought into the tent. There are some smart people in greyhound racing but we are no smarter than the people who are seeing the advantages in welfare rights being improved by mutual trade relationships.

  31. Dezzey Pink Penny burra man The GA ban is on issuing their domestic passports not on the export to China. The export of animals overseas is in the province of the Federal Department under federal law. If you want to ban trade with Asia then you need to take it up with the Federal Government. The reason that the trade in greyhounds with China is so secretive may have something to do with dealers wanting to keep their business commercially confidential rather than the proposition ,which seems self serving to me, that the welfare of greyhounds is not protected because there are no adoption scheme companies operating in China. The above statement may or may not be right and there might be other cultural differences that offend us as well. There are 110 million domestic dogs in China and a reported 300 greyhound tracks and a middle class buying up Australian greyhounds at an increasing rate. The situation in Macau will resolve itself when mainline China will or is now more than able to supply racing Greyhounds to its Islands and neighbours.

    I think that Greyhound Racing generally should be able to benefit from the export of greyhounds and I thought that if some fee like the passport licence could be established the money could be used for the whole of racing. I think that it would be better for animal welfare for all countries that we have legitimate trade agreements with in animal exports to be brought into the tent. There are some smart people in greyhound racing but we are no smarter than the people who are seeing the advantages in welfare rights being improved by mutual trade relationships.

  32. Todman The NSW response has developed further with the letters patent being withdrawn and replaced  by an inquiry to be held by the retired high court judge and council assisting together with assistance from the Crown Solicitor, the control board and other interests have been removed from the judicial process.
    Interesting points are under the quality assurance requirements and the witnesses sect 22,23,24 under the special commission inquiry act 1983.
    In NSW they are obviously sorting the procedures out before they start.
    Here is the revised letters patent.
    http://www.greyhoundracinginquiry.justice.nsw.gov.au/Documents/Letters_Patent_dated_6_May_2015.pdf