Lithgow president says air conditioning essential for all tracks

THE Lithgow greyhound racing track will be ready to race throughout summer, with a brand new split-system air conditioner being installed in the kennels this week.

It comes as the non-TAB track had its meeting abandoned last Saturday after the temperature in the kennels exceeded 26°C, the maximum temperature permitted for race kennels as outlined by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) in its revised hot weather policy.

Lithgow President John Brain said while it was a shame to lose the meeting, the welfare of the greyhounds must come first.

“I have been in the game a long time and if you go back 30 years they didn’t worry about anything like this,” Brain told Australian Racing Greyhound.

“Obviously there is science behind this decision which has found it is better for the animal to race with these conditions.

“Without the animals there isn’t a sport. If they get too hot they can get crook or even die and we can’t have that.

“At the end of the day it is looking after the animal.”

Brain said given the scorching temperatures many parts of the state reach throughout the summer months, all clubs, even the smaller non-TAB tracks, need to invest in air-conditioning if they want to race.

“Change comes and people have to adjust to it. It might take a while, but they adjust.

“We all know what the weather conditions are like in Australia – it gets very hot in the summer.

“You have got to have the appropriate facilities to be able to keep the temperature down in the kennels.

“Clubs are instructed what degree the kennels have to be and if you can’t get your track to meet those temperatures then you don’t race.

“You have got to abide by the rules or you don’t race.”

The new temperature rules came into effect on November 1 as a part of the revised hot weather policy.

Other key changes include the ability to withdraw greyhounds without penalty when temperature is forecasted to be above 32°C. Stewards can also abandon a race meeting when the temperature exceeds 38°C or is likely to rise above 38°C.

The new policy also requires greyhounds never to be kept in non-air-conditioned vehicles or trailers when the temperature rises above 22°C.

The hot weather has also been causing problems down in Victoria, with Monday’s meetings at Shepparton and Traralgon pushed back to night meetings to avoid racing in the heat of the day and afternoon.

Australian Racing Greyhound contacted both Greyhound Racing NSW and Greyhound Racing Victoria for further insight into their hot weather policies, however neither controlling body had responded at the time of publication.

Past Discussion

  1. Alter the ICA for our fair share and the infrastructure problems would be addressed and this Government keeps kicking our arse on welfare issues and don’t want to help. Addressing  the ICA and the Tax  Parity would be no cost to the Government and would go a long way to addressing many issue associated with Greyhound Racing here in NSW . God help us, its not Rocket Science

  2. I look forward to my grant from GRNSW to buy an air conditioned trailer.

    Otherwise there’ll be a procession of hobby trainers calling it quits.

  3.  What a lovely thought ,sorry but i don’t think that will happen ,but it should !  Maybe the GBOTA can tap into their Millions also ,its the Hobby Trainers that have always carried the Industry at all levels and its about time the looked after the major stakeholders.

  4. Why not race some non tab meetings in the cool of the morning?. Taree got one of its biggest crowds on a meeting on Sunday morning previously. If the non tab’s had a circuit on Saturday morning and Sunday morning they could get a corporate interested and broadcast on U-Tube for no cost.

    This is one proposal being put forward and it “trumps” tracks writing articles on their bragging rights.

    PS I am not a fan of kennels anyway I think that both the greyhounds and connections should be in hospitality areas (air conditioned)  together with an option to kennel if they wish.

  5. This is certainly an example of a good news bad news situation. The good news is air conditioning will be provided for the greyhounds and Mr. Brain is to be commended for seeing to that. The bad news is, while the climate may be controlled in the kennels, the dogs will still have to race in whatever weather is outside of the kennels. If the racing stops when the temperature reaches 26°C in the kennel, what is it on the outside then? Additionally this will mean more races overall for the dogs. More chances to be injured or killed on the track. 

    The bottom line is the industry is just finding more ways to continue the exploitation of innocent living creatures for profit. 

    I am a Board member of Grey2K USA Worldwide, an organization that fights to save these marvelous creatures all over the globe. (you can learn more about us here: I have fostered and adopted rescued racing greyhounds since 1995. I cannot imagine abandoning any of them when they become injured, old or sick and yet this is routinely what happens to them at operating tracks whether they have air conditioning or not..
    Fred Barton
    Board Member
    Grey2K USA Worldwide

  6. BobWhitelaw John Tracey There can be problems particularly with dehydration, it pays to travel in the trailer to see what is going on.

    It is amazing that with all we have gone through a scheme for Mad Dogs and Englishman to race in the midday sun for no reason is a headline topic backing a more of the same vision.

    How about racing in a period when the pubs and clubs are not open and how about a tour to Vietnam to tie up an internet connection between them and the country clubs.

    Here are some initial approaches on a Vietnam trip from a travel agent.

    You would fly from Sydney to Ho Chi Minh and return. From Ho Chi Minh there would be a private car transfer to Vung Tao which would take approximatgely 1.5 – 2 hours. I am currently waiting on an approximate cost but again, it would change according to the amount of people in the vehicle, whether this would be a sedan or a mini van for a small group..

    The cost of the airfare and the accommodation would also depend on the dates of travel.

    Sorry but if the country president mentioned is an example of a visionary and quoted properly then heaven help greyhound racing.

  7. Bluestone Hi Bluestone I note that both greyhounds and horses come from dessert areas, do horses now have to travel in air conditioned refrigerated trucks. In my time horses were most comfortable in floats where they could see out of them and if a number of horses were in the same float an attendant travelled with them. Hobby trainers in the greyhounds often used to go to race-meetings together in their transport and share a trailer between them. The trailers were often obtained without cost as one of the party owned the trailer and donated it to the group. The Lang’s at Young provided transport for the area particularly prior to Young Obtaining a greyhound race-course licence itself. The early problem with this type of transport was that the dogs were not visible to the trainers during the trip so if there were problems in the trailer you dod not know about them. The professional trainers with the greyhounds from the same yard would probably have trailers with video cams and sound equipment into the trailers and air conditioning and air condition monitors. I always found travelling with natural air and buying ice worked much better for me than using air conditioning as on really hot days the air conditioning would vary depending on the sun exposure to the car. Also what happens if the air conditioning breaks down. I used a trailer only to cary gear and put the greyhounds in the back of my station waggon and had air conditioning but I preferred to use the natural air and ice. This meant that I was up for the whole expense of the travel but the cost was compensated by me having the greyhound arriving at the meeting in the best condition possible. Being recreation trainer I rarely had more than four dogs at a meeting but if there was a capacity to take  pup tp the track for experience I would try and get another party to take it up.

    The solution to the problem is for grouped tracks to have between them a mini bus fitted out for passengers and for greyhounds in a kennel position (Similar to the old train services) The Clubs -could share the cost of the mini-bus and make a small charge to the  participant. The bus could pick up at different points. A trailer could be attached to the bus allowing the maximum room inside the vehicle. The bus could be converted back to a full seater from time to time. With my experience of road travel with air conditioning I would always travel with ice as a failsafe.

  8. BobWhitelaw God helps those that help themselves and this does seem to be Rocket Science to some, Apply for something in the next two months while the greyhounds are topical because most people will forget they exist in the near future. You cant run a sport totally by asking others to think for you but if I am wrong I will donate a couple of rolls of twenty cents to you to ring someone to fix all our problems.

    If you are 80% active and spend 20% giving comfort to people who have given up, then you cant be invited onto the A team, We are not interested in victim comfort seekers that is  a job for others. The criteria for advancing the greyhounds is 100% positive action and no tuck shop politics. Also leave the victims alone they are comfortable in their position they have adopted so thats their choice and they are entitled to it.

  9. BobWhitelaw God helps those that help themselves and this does seem to be Rocket Science to some, Apply for something in the next two months while the greyhounds are topical because most people will forget they exist in the near future. 

    Bob do you have a special diet requirement for the trip to Vietnam?.