A celebration of a hundred years of speed, suspense and excitement is coming to Christchurch in October. Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) will commemorate 100 Years of Governance with a three day celebration in Christchurch.
The flagship event will be the Platinum Paws race featuring the New Zealand code’s highest ever stake – $250,000.
GRNZ Chief Executive, Jeremy Kennerley, says he is looking forward to the Centenary events which will showcase greyhound racing over the last century.
“The sport has overcome a number of challenges to get where it is in 2008. This is an opportunity to take a step back and remember the characters, the stories, the highs and the lows. We want to acknowledge the personalities, both human and canine, that have helped make a night at the dogs the exciting spectacle it is today.”
The Centenary celebrations will start on 15 October with a dinner recognising those who have made a difference to the sport.
“There are board members or life members who have worked tirelessly for the sport; owners and trainers who have turned out week after week, year after year; racing journalists who have supported and promoted greyhound racing; and, of course, there are the champion dogs,” Mr Kennerley says.
“It’s their contributions that have given the sport such a rich and interesting history and made it so popular with the public.”
The $250,000 Platinum Paws race will be held on 17 October. Dogs competing in the Platinum Paws race may include some top Australian greyhounds that have earned their place through semi final heats on 10 October.
“It will be the most important race to hit the New Zealand tracks since greyhound racing began,” Mr Kennerley said.
“With the highest stake ever riding on the result, there’s going to be an incredible amount of interest. Punters and the public are guaranteed an amazing night of elite trans-Tasman greyhound racing.”
The GRNZ Centenary finale – the annual Awards Gala Dinner – will be held on 18 October.
But Mr Kennerley says the Centenary will be more than a celebration of the past.
“It’s also a way of looking to the future of the sport. Greyhound racing will get even bigger and better over the next hundred years. We think that’s worth celebrating too!”