Success did not come instantly for fledgling greyhound racing owners Roxene Kingston and Sally Pearce, but thanks to the generosity of Forth farmer Mike Last and prominent trainer Gary Johnson, they are now up and running.
The Circular Head friends were involved in their first winner last week at the Devonport Raceway when Buckle Up Connor (Collision – Buckle Up Erin) greeted the judge and then at Tuesday’s NWGRC meeting that chaser’s litter-brother Buckle Up Dylan also got in on the act by taking out the betfair.com Juvenile.
Kingston, who operates a boarding kennel and cattery at Forest and Pearce, who works in the mining industry at Cloncurry, race the chasers in partnership with Leith’s Robyn Johnson and are naturally elated to have finally made it into the winner’s circle.
“Mike Last convinced us several years ago that greyhound racing was a fun sport, so we purchased a share in the bitch Shinzola,” Kingston explained this week.
“She didn’t make the grade, so Gary Johnson gave us a share in another pup which raced as Powder Monkey, but he was a slow coach as well,” she added.
Mike Last then gave the pair his share of the brood-bitch Buckle Up Erin, by Late Late Show from the Awesome Assassin bitch Buckle Up Penny and the winner of seven of 62 lifetime outings.
It is Buckle Up Erin’s first litter that are currently displaying so much promise, with another member Mr. Plodda also about to greet the judge.
Kingston assists with the rearing of the pups and believes that the Circular Head environment is ideal for that purpose.
“We are not heavily populated and have several long beaches which are ideal for giving pups a run,” she explained.
“The first time we took pups to the beach for a run we were a bit wary, however they took off like hairy goats for a few hundred metres and then turned and came back to us, so it worked out very well.”
An AI technician with experience in the dairy industry, Kingston also handles yearling pacers for prominent Smithton owner Trevor Leis and his wife Marjorie.
“I give them their early education, picking up their legs, rugging them and teaching them to load in a float, but don’t go as far as putting harness on them and gaiting them up,” she explained.
With plenty of work to do on her 12 hectare property, she has no intention of becoming heavily involved in the racing industry, but will maintain her current level of interest.
However Sally Pearce was injured at work recently and may very well become more involved when her mining industry contract expires.
“Sally lost her hand in an accident at work and may be retiring later in the year and returning to Circular Head, I suspect that she will be wanting to become more involved,” Kingston explained.