NSW greyhounds release extended COVID-19 race procedures

Following the confusion and panic of last night’s Gosford greyhound race meeting, and discussion around the new four-wave model of boxing greyhounds, Greyhound Racing New South Wales (GRNSW) and the NSW Greyhound Welfare & Integrity Commission (GWIC) have released the full race meeting procedures.

The new procedures are directly targeted at mitigating risk to participants and race-day staff, while seeking to comply with the ever-increasing federal and state government coronavirus counter measures.

The new racetrack procedures are a non-negotiable requirement of GRNSW and GWIC. Failure to comply and comprehend the new procedures could have devastating consequences on the ability of NSW greyhound racing to continue to conduct of race meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 Raceday Procedures

    On arrival at Track

  • Security/attendant has a list of trainers at the gate.
  • Security/attendant record a ledger for each greyhound entering the track and who brings the greyhounds through the gate.
  • Security/attendant once all greyhounds are through for kennelling to lock the gate and provide the list to stewards who will verify at race time.
  • Security/attendant to let trainers out on departure no one to enter the track until at least 10 minutes after the last race for trials.
    Pre-kennel sequence

  • All Stewards, kennel staff and vets to wash their hands and use hand sanitiser between each greyhound or wear gloves.
  • Avoid touching your face at all times.
  • Vet check (outside where practicable).
  • ID (outside where practicable).
  • Weigh in (outside where practicable).
  • A designated club official will be responsible for taking the greyhound from the trainer/handler and presenting the greyhound to the vet/steward. As far as practicable the club official will keep 1.5m from the vet/steward. This official should not be within a vulnerable category, as specified by NSW Health.
  • The trainer must be two metres away at all times witnessing this process.
  • The greyhound will be returned to the trainer/handler, keeping 1.5m distance.
  • Kennel allocated at race bay – new computerised ‘No Contact’ system.
  • Greyhound placed in kennel.
  • Trainer exits through back door.

Pre-race sequence

  • Greyhound trainers to wait two metres apart in kennelling walkway.
  • Attendant calls kennel numbers furthest away to closest (like new boxing system).
  • Trainer move directly to outdoor yard.
  • Trainer to place rug on greyhound. Gloves to be worn by person providing rugs.
  • ID takes place in yard, ID Stewards to approach greyhound from the front and maintain 1.5m distance, trainer to keep leash slack to allow distance.
  • Those who do not require a stir up to move inside.
  • Trainers informed four lines will be used to place greyhounds in the boxes.
  • Starter calls the greyhounds one by one to move to the track, keeping each trainer at least two metres apart.
  • Starter moves all greyhounds to the back of the boxes one by one and in most cases to be moved through the exit gate to ensure space.
  • Starter calls the trainers two at a time for greyhounds to be placed in boxes until all are boxed and the green light is on.
  • Boxing Greyhounds to Race
    Greyhounds are boxed in the following order:

  • Box 1 and 5 together
  • Box 3 and 7 together
  • Box 4 and 8 together
  • Box 2 and 6 together
  • Trainers/handlers are to remain 1.5m from each other at all times.

      Post-Race

    • Catching pen distance of 1.5m to be strictly maintained at all times, no ID in catching pen.
    • Trainers remove rug upon exit at the track where an attendant who has gloves takes the rugs to be immediately placed in washer/dryer.
    • Trainers wash greyhound keeping a two-metre distance from each other, club attendant to monitor.
    • If requested by a trainer, permission may be granted to leave the track after their greyhound has raced but waiting for at least 10 minutes for greyhounds to recover from race.
    • If going back into the kennel, trainers place greyhounds / remove greyhounds from kennel block with an attendant to monitor and ensuring a strict minimum 1.5m distance.
    • Designated club official to undertake decontamination of kennels and surrounding areas after each race.

    The new race-day procedures will be in pace for the indefinite future.

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