The Brumby Government has congratulated the greyhound racing industry on an exceptional year ahead of tonight’s Greyhound of the Year award.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Racing Rob Hulls said Victoria’s greyhound racing industry had experienced an exceptional year, continuing to build on solid foundations laid by Greyhound Racing Victoria (GRV) over the past 11 years.
“In the 2007-08 financial year, GRV increased its market share from 16.5 per cent to 18.7 per cent allowing higher financial returns to owners, trainers and breeders,” Mr Hulls said.
“As a result, prize money also increased by $1.2 million and total stake money and bonuses reached $22.9 million.
“These figures certainly give the industry something to celebrate and are a mark of the hard work and dedication it takes to continue this success in today’s challenging market.”
Mr Hulls wished the finalists for the prestigious Greyhound of the Year award good luck in anticipation of the greyhound racing industry’s night of nights.
He said the event celebrated the achievements of the greyhound racing industry in the past year and provided individual recognition of stand-out greyhounds and trainers.
“Tonight brings the entire industry together, providing the opportunity for Greyhound Racing Victoria, the trainers, owners and breeders, as well as the sponsors and industry partners, to take stock and reflect on the challenges and successes of the previous year,” he said.
Finalists for the 2008 Greyhound of the Year include the Jason Thompson-trained greyhound El Galo, Gunnadoo Magic trained by Lara’s Robert Britton, and Regal Thyme owned and trained by Graham Long.
The winner is chosen by members of the Greyhound of the Year panel who vote based on a dog’s racing performance over the previous 12 months.
Mr Hulls said GRV’s Greyhound Adoption Program was another mark of the industry’s success and included the Prison Pet Partnership, where a strategic partnership with Corrections Victoria led to the adoption of 44 retired greyhounds fostered and trained by prisoners.
“GRV should also be commended on the continued success of the Great Chase series which this year saw the involvement of a record 158 community groups which care for the physically and intellectually disabled,” he said.
Mr Hulls said the greyhound industry would be given further reason to celebrate when the Greyhound Racing Victoria Hall of Fame was launched later this year, recognising industry pioneers, icons and significant contributors.