JUST OVER 12 months ago, the greyhound racing industry was thrown into uncertainty as then premier Mike Baird announced greyhound racing would be banned from July 1, 2017.
Gunnedah Greyhound Racing Club president and Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association chairman Geoff Rose was just one of many who would have been affected by the ban.
For Rose, who has been involved with greyhound racing virtually his whole life, it was a massive blow.
However, the ban didn’t go ahead and a year later, greyhound racing in Gunnedah is as strong as ever.
The Gunnedah club has secured 13 TAB meetings over the next 12 months with 15 non-TAB meetings scheduled as well.
The club wandered through the dark and emerged to be greeted by a new dawn.
However, before any of those meetings start, the track will receive an overhaul.
New rails, two new sets of boxes, a refurbished kennel bay and a track redevelopment will all be completed before racing returns to Gunnedah in August.
In other words, it’s exciting times for the club.
“The developments here are supported by the council and will be a benefit to the town and region,” Rose said.
“When we come back, we’ll have a quarter of a million dollars worth of prizemoney up for grabs [over the next year].
“I believe we’ll end up with more and if that happens then there will be more TAB racing and more people will be employed, there’s just so much benefit from the industry.”
In a way, Rose is thankful for the initial plan to ban greyhound racing.
We want to breed what we need, not for greed.
The industry is expected to go through a flat spot.
That is due to breeding being halted last year after the initial ban announcement.
But Rose said more positives than negatives came from it.
“The breeding is picking up again,” he said.
“It’s down a bit but it’s actually a good thing.
“We want to breed what we need, not for greed.
“I’ve never seen the industry look so bright … there’s a welfare commission [the Greyhound Welfare and Integrity Commission] we both agree on.
“The industry got itself into trouble and the good people in the industry, we won’t ever let that happen again.
“If people aren’t abiding, they’ll be kicked out of the industry, we don’t want them.”
And lucky the industry is still going as Rose has no clue what he’d be doing right now otherwise.
“I don’t know, that’s the problem,” he said. “I’ve lived with greyhounds all of my life. It’s a thing in your blood.”