Owners, those new to the greyhound industry, and the greyhounds themselves, will be the real victims from Greyhound Racing Victoria’s new trainers competency test, which seeks to dramtically decrease the standards required to be recognised as a public greyhound trainer in Victoria.
GRV today launched its new trainer’s competency for all industry participants wanting to handle a greyhound at the track or begin their career as a trainer, and according to the GRV, “The new package has been completely re-written to reflect the industry’s current direction and focus”.
Similar to the previous package, the new trainer’s competency also contains three levels – ‘Attendant’, ‘Owner-Trainer’ and ‘Public Trainer’ – with a question sheet that needs to be completed for each level.
The new Public Trainer’s question sheet, which is multiple choice based, contains questions like :
- You have decided to become a public trainer. This means you can:
A. Train your own greyhounds
B. Train greyhounds that you co-own with other people
C. Train other people’s greyhounds
D. All of the Above
- Which of these muscles is located in the front leg of the greyhound?
B. The ‘Back’ muscle (Gracillus)
C. The ‘Monkey’ Muscle (long head of the Triceps)
D. The lattisimus dorsi
- If you suspect a muscle injury, even if it is minor, what should you do?
A. Have the greyhound checked by a greyhound veterinarian
B. Give the greyhound some anti-inflammatories you were prescribed for another greyhound
C. Give the greyhound another run in a few days to help stretch the muscle
D. Increase the protein in the greyhound’s diet
- ‘Sesamoids’ are located:
A. Behind the wrist joint
B. Behind the top toe joint
C. At the front of the top toe joint
D. Behind the last toe joint
- If one of your greyhounds has vomiting and diarrhoea you should:
A. Feed the greyhound its normal meal
B. Feed the greyhound some boiled chicken and rice
C. Worm the greyhound immediately
D. Make sure it is drinking adequately and stop all food
- The respiratory rate of the greyhound may increase due to:
B. Cold weather
C. The greyhound falling asleep
D. None of the Above
- Which of these should NOT contain ingredients that may cause a positive swab?
B. Natural therapies
C. Regular packaged dry dog food
- Anti-biotic resistance can occur because:
A. An animal is not given the entire course of an anti-biotic
B. An animal is given an anti-biotic at the wrong dose
C. The anti-biotic given was not active against the particular bacteria being treated
D. All of the above
There is also a practical test component in the ‘Attendant’ level, to ensure all new handlers are competent at walking a greyhound at the track, fitting a muzzle and race vest and loading a greyhound into the starting boxes. These competencies are to be fulfilled in the presence of a steward, and they are :
- Properly fit a collar and lead to a greyhound
- Walk a greyhound safely in the presence of other greyhounds
- Properly fit a racing muzzle
- Demonstrate that you can fit and remove a race rug
- Load a greyhound properly into the starting boxes
There is no doubt that the GRV are trying to address declining trainer numbers in the state, by markedly shifting the goal posts to become a public trainer. The previous steps to becoming a public greyhound trainer required answering quite along exam, that dealt with far more detail than the current multiple choice question test.
In fact, we at Australian Racing Greyhound.com, find it astounding that anyone with a half an ounce of commonsense and the ability to “google” the answers, can now go from having no contact with a greyhound to being able operate as public greyhound trainer within about a day.
If the new package has been re-written to reflect the industries directions, then those directions must be in reverse, because this is a step backward not forward.
It’s time the GRV introduced a probationary period and mentoring programme to help young and novice trainers, learn their trade. Not throw them in the deep end of training for owners just because they know what a “sesamoid” is.
Owners too must be protected, particularly those new to the greyhound industry, and having a handful of card carrying public trainers in operation that in reality may know very little of their chosen vocation, does nothing to protect those owners or their greyhounds.
Greyhound owners are the lifeblood of the greyhound industry and they must be protected by ensuring that anyone who puports to being a public greyhound trainer, has the necessary skills and integrity, to both handle the greyhound and their investment.
We at Australian Racing Greyhound.com, consider this new trainers “lack of” competency package as so dangerous, that we believe there is now a need for a public trainers directory, where owners, breeders and other interested parties can reference a trainers performance, their race records, stewards inquiries, past greyhounds in their care, and where appropriate, read testimonials from those that have had involvement with the trainer.
Over the next few weeks, we will develop the directory and your input is both welcomed and valuable and can be left in the comments or you can leave your input via the contact page.
The new competencies can be downloaded from GRV’s website – www.grv.org.au