The NSW Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) and the NSW Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) have released a joint statement regarding the infamous Bathurst “No Race” on Bathurst regional Million Dollar Chase final night.
The statement makes no reference to any penalty or disciplinary action against any GWIC, club, track or GBOTA staff; but does acknowledge that the gaffe was a serious greyhound welfare incident.
GWIC & GBOTA joint statement: Investigation outcome: Bathurst ‘No race’ on Saturday 7 September
It is the process of the Bathurst Greyhound Racing Club to complete two laps of the track before each race using their tractor. This is done to minimise footprints and track marks from the previous race.
The Commission has worked closely with the Greyhound Breeders, Owners and Trainers Association (GBOTA) to determine how equipment from the tractor ended up on the track ahead of Race 7 and why this was not visible to stewards before the race commenced.
Due to time constraints following the Million Dollar Chase final in Race 6 and on-track presentations, the preparation of the track for Race 7 was carried out with less time than normal. The gate (with tyres affixed to add weight) that is used to level the track became detached from the tractor and remained unnoticed on the track near the catching pen.
GBOTA has reviewed current practices and has now implemented measures that will in future ensure all tractor equipment is secured ahead of track preparations between races. The tractor will also complete its first lap ahead of any on-track presentations and the lure driver will assist in checking the track prior to each race.
As a result of this investigation a new procedure will be implemented at Bathurst which requires a Commission steward to be present at the back straight for all race starts where visibility is restricted. The Commission has also commenced a review of other tracks for the same potential issue.
Both the Commission and GBOTA appreciate the disappointment of owners and trainers participating in Race 7 at Bathurst on Saturday night and understand the potential risk this incident posed to the welfare of greyhounds. We will continue to work closely together to prevent the possibility of any reoccurrence.