The Traralgon-based greyhound enthusiast, who had previously trained in both Melbourne and Ireland, was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Rather than feeling down, he made the decision to get involved in greyhound racing after living overseas and working as a head chef.
“I developed a tumour and have been fighting cancer for about three years. I was in remission for a while, but it has come back pretty bad and my doctor gave me six months to live,” Furner told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“When that happened I rang my brother and said that if I was going to pass away from cancer that I didn’t want to be feeling down – I wanted to buy a few dogs and really enjoy watching them go around.”
Furner purchased two proven greyhounds, Luca Bazooka and Zipping Kane, which both debuted for their new owner last week, running first and second respectively.
Luca Bazooka is trained by Lisa Rasmussen and is owned by Furner and his partner Angeline Roxas as well as Dillon Robinson who handles the dog at the race track.
A few days later Zipping Kane also did his owner proud, running second in a tough FFA event at Angle Park at his first start in SA for new trainer Ashley Furner, Trevor’s brother.
Furner said he couldn’t have asked for a better week on the track and was proud of both greyhounds for their efforts.
“When Luca won, just to see him wagging his tail and happy to see me after the race meant more to me than the win did,” Furner explained.
“The greyhounds give me a good thrill – it’s nice to have them around me and I love watching them race.
“I’m not in it for the prize money – I plan on setting some of it aside for cancer research – but I just love the dogs and watching them do what they love.
“Greyhounds definitely take your mind off having cancer.”
Furner, who has been involved in the industry since he was seven, was also touched by the attitude of the greyhound racing fraternity which has supported him on his journey as a new owner.
“People rubbish the sport, but there are so many nice people in this industry who have been very supportive of me and my journey owning the dogs.
“It’s really nice that we have the type of people in the industry that will go out of their way to help you – it just shows a real positive side to things.”
Luca Bazooka will return to Angle Park on Monday looking to extend his good run of form when he jumps from box six in race eight at 8.57pm.