YOUNG based greyhound trainer Vicki Prest says the decision by Greyhound Racing NSW (GRNSW) to put on two non-TAB meetings across the entirety of NSW is not enough to meet the demands of struggling trainers.
The authority body announced the suspension of all non-TAB racing last week pending a review into track safety, animal welfare and integrity as part of the recommendations handed down by the Special Commission of Inquiry.
However, Prest, who assists with the Young track, says two non-TAB meetings are not enough to support the entire state.
“There is nothing down our way,” Prest told Australian Racing Greyhound.
“I don’t mind travelling with the dogs, but I can’t drive all the way to Richmond for bush prize money… even if they win I wouldn’t be making any money.”
Prest said she can’t fathom why the decision to ban all non-TAB tracks was made, with her local track boasting an exceptional injury rate.
“I don’t understand it at all,” she said.
“We have got a terrific, injury-free track here and the steward’s reports and vet’s reports show that.
“We do all of our office work and integrity work, we do it right, and we are getting condemned for it.
“You and try and do the right thing and they crucify us.
“It’s just wrong and cruel.”
Young had its mandatory track inspection conducted on Wednesday, with several improvements needed before racing can resume.
However, Prest says the ‘problems’ found had never caused any issue in the track’s history and are just putting an unnecessary strain on the smaller clubs.
“We’ve got an outside fence down the straight and at the winning post it veers out and meets up with the judge’s box which is six feet off the track.
“At the judge’s box there is a cement step so they want the fence moved incase a dog runs up the step — it’s not a big job — but we have raced with it like that for 62 years and it has never caused a problem.
“It’s all do-able but it’s like they just had to find something.”
Prest says the decision to suspend greyhound racing in country areas will have a major affect on the battling trainers who haven’t done anything wrong.
“To me it is hypocritical what they are doing,” she said.
“They want us to keep our pets and I do keep most of mine. They stay here until they get sick from old age and when that happens they go to the vets to be humanely put down.
“I have 12 pets here, but I need to race my other dogs to be able to feed them.
“I only have three racing dogs… I have one little girl going well at the moment but the other two can’t get runs.
“I have nominated one of them 12 times and she still hasn’t got a run and the other bloke has been nominated five times.
“I have them both here sitting in the kennels and I just can’t afford it.
“Now they have stopped the racing, but they still want us to keep all the dogs as pets.
“What do they expect us to do? We aren’t allowed to put them down so are we supposed to let them starve to death?
“If you can’t afford to feed them, what happens to them?
“They are cutting our throats.”