Eight dog racing to be explored in Limerick Greyhound Stadium

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Eight dog racing to be explored in Limerick Greyhound Stadium

Limerick Greyhound Stadium

LIMERICK Greyhound Stadium could be set to see an increase to eight dogs in each race.

The launch of the Irish Greyhound Board Strategic Plan 2018 to 2022 confirms that the IGB hope to explore a move from six dogs to eight dogs with Limerick most likely the venue. 

“Currently, as per Irish tradition, Greyhound racing involves six dogs in each race. In other jurisdictions, the number increases to eight greyhounds. The increased numbers means that more betting options can be introduced and it offers a wider variety of experiences for those wishing to place a bet,” explains the strategic plan.

“A change to the current arrangement merits consideration and if feasible, should be trialled at Limerick Greyhound Stadium over the lifetime of this plan,” states the plan.

Chairman Irish Greyhound Board Phil Meaney, in his Strategic Plan address, said that “Greyhound racing is as Irish as Hurling or Ceili Dancing and has been part of our culture for more than 200 years.”

“The preparation of this strategic plan has allowed us to take stock of where we in the greyhound industry today and plan a way forward. It will result in a renewed interest in the industry, bringing greyhound racing - a unique sport - to many more people. Specifically, it will increase the level of Greyhound ownership, result in a fairer deal for breeders, owners, trainers and patrons to our stadia and continue to provide a social engagement for people just looking for a fun night out,” stated the chairman.

“The plan is built around seven key areas which encompass the entire of the greyhound industry. Implementation of the initiatives outlined in the plan are aimed at restoring viability to the greyhound industry and creating a vibrant future for all those involved or who become involved in the sector. This plan has the issue of animal welfare as a key consideration and a central part of the work of the IGB and the greyhound industry over the plan period,” outlines Meaney.

He added: “Implementation of proposals contained in the strategy will support direct and indirect employment in the industry and in support services.”

Under an Animal Welfare heading, the Strategic Plan suggests exploring and extended lifetime for greyhounds.

“Historically, there has been a focus on dogs in the 18-48 months categories i.e. the age when Greyhounds typically hit peak speeds. By extending the ‘racing life’ of dogs to circa 72 months we will ensure that (a) less dogs are required and (b) that the post-racing career of dogs is shorter. To make this happen (c) all race cards would have at least one event for ‘senior’ dogs (and one event for bitches) - ensuring that slightly older dogs become a recognised part of the dog racing fraternity. These proposals will be further examined, in conjunction with the industry, and progressed during the lifetime of this Plan.”