Greyhound Racing – It’s Easy Until You Ask For Help

Do you like being confused?

Are you sick of things being straight forward and enjoy the feeling of frustration?

Then the unique sport of Greyhound Racing is for you. Welcome to a world where bureaucracy and red tape are prevalent and where poorly trained people would rather waste your time and tell you misinformation than assist you or lead you on the right path.

Presuming it will be mainly greyhound folk reading this, then I am making the assumption this sarcastic opening will strike some sort of familiarity. But in case it doesn’t, then I say “gather around kiddies” and let me tell you the story of ‘Ollie’ and his lovely dealings with the people that run our industry.

Ollie lives in South Australia, however his beloved racing-now-brood bitch has found a nice home with his trusty trainer in regional Victoria. A common scenario one would think, however that line of thought is questioned when Ollie decides he wants to breed a litter.

Being the first time Ollie has ventured into the breeding game, he rests in comfort knowing the trusty trainer is more than happy to spend the time and energy whelping and rearing, so it just comes down choosing a sire. After some careful decision making, one is chosen, but with the sire based in Victoria (as so many are) the vial gets transferred to the trainers preferred vet.

From there it seems like smooth sailing. Brood has the procedure, and nine weeks later, two happy, healthy black puppies are on the ground. Happy days.

However things seem strange when Ollie realises that not one bit of paper was signed, not one phone call, email or other received to register the litter with anyone. So Ollie takes the initiative, and calls GRV to investigate.

Once the GRV employee gathers some basic information, they advise that they have no record of the service taking place, and that they will ask Greyhound Racing South Australia (GRSA) to contact him and get that information, as he is a registered person with them, not GRV.

After three days of no action, another call to GRV takes place, particularly wondering why GRSA need to be involved when everything relating to the litter happened across the border.

“Oh that’s not correct” Ollie gets told by a different GRV employee. “Greyhounds Australasia supplies the service information”.

Interesting to get two pieces of different info from the same source isn’t it? Regardless, GA receive the next call.

“We are waiting for paperwork from when the breeding unit was bought. Usually the vet collects that and passes it on, so you may want to chase it up with them”. GA explain.

They could have offered to do it for him, but nonetheless Ollie scrounges through the receipts to find the trainers’ vets’ number and phone call number four takes place.

“We only get a copy of that information and we never pass anything on to GA.” He is told. “You were supposed to obtain an original copy of the transfer-of-ownership form provided by the stud master, and then submit it GA immediately.”

It is at this point in time Ollie realises this has become a debacle. Five phone calls to four different offices have resulted in Ollie being misled not once, but twice, and now having to chase paperwork he didn’t even know existed, for a service that occurred ten weeks ago, and only after he made an unprompted enquiry himself. One would think that somewhere along the line the breeder, the trusty trainer, GRV or maybe even GA would have lent some assistance and said ‘Hey, do you know about this?” – Nope – Only a conversation with a veterinary receptionist made things clearer and allowed things to get back on track.

But if only that was the end of the debacle. Five days after finally lodging the correct form with GA, does the phone ring – it’s GRSA.

“We require to know which sire has been purchased and where in S.A. the whelping will take place?”

They sounded less than impressed when Ollie told them the litter was already whelped entirely in Victoria one week earlier.

They sounded even less impressed when Ollie got a little mad once he received a SECOND phone call from GRSA two days later, asking the same thing!

So the tally is now up to five phone calls made, two calls received and all for a process that was meant to occur nearly three months ago. What an easy thing this greyhound game is…

Remember kiddies, these bodies are apparently designed to support the industry’s participants. So let’s see how many new people will scramble to get involved when they read stories like mine…. err… I mean Ollie’s… and the hundreds more that I’m sure exist out there.

For what it’s worth, I wonder if ‘Red Tape Runaround’ will make a good racing name?