The greyhound racing industry has been to hell and back over the past couple of years since the live baiting scandal rocked the industry and the actions of a few bad or very unlucky eggs put the integrity of the thousands of good people in the industry under an unfair and unjustified spotlight.
That the industry survived and came out prospering on the other side is a testament to the dedication to the sport of so many, a love of animals by all, and the astute leadership of a new breed of Greyhound administrators whose primary commitment is to keeping Racing Queensland to its word about ensuring that the Queensland greyhound industry has the highest animal welfare standards in the whole Wide Brown Land and if possible the world.
The greyhound industry has been calling out for leaders since the live baiting disaster fractured the sport’s leadership into a thousand pieces, and now in the shape of the new leadership of the Queensland Greyhound Breeders Owners and Trainers Association (QGBOTA) it has it.
I was fortunate enough to meet QGBOTA Secretary Christine Goodwin at the Racing Queensland Annual Meeting and I was hugely impressed to see how much preparation she had put into constructing her questions to RQ Chair Steve ‘Whirlwind’ Wilson, and I am quite certain he was too because at one stage Christine had the Whirlwind tied in such knots that he actually glanced at me hoping I would jump in with a different question and save him, but I just sat back and grinned.
Membership of QGBOTA has tripled in the past year thanks to the great work Christine and the team are doing up and down the Queensland coast, and if anyone asked me for my opinion I would say that anyone in the greyhound industry who hasn’t joined the association is nothing but a mug.
It’s very clear that Dale Cartwright, the Government greyhound industry appointee to the Racing Qld board, doesn’t actually represent the participants in the code at all, and only talks to the broader industry when it chases him to attend a meeting and explain what’s going on for the industry at the executive control board level, which is pretty bloody ordinary in my estimation.
Cartwright should be ashamed of himself, but then again so should the industry because due to fear of losing the lot in the wake of live baiting the owners, trainer and breeders have allowed their interests to be represented on the RQ board by people who I don’t reckon have the dogs future at the forefront of their minds.
QGBOTA does though, and I urge anyone involved in the greyhound industry to get on board, become a member and get involved.
The events at Tom Noble’s at Churchable happened 3 years ago and need to be put where they belong, in the past. The industry has turned itself around since those dark days and its future is bright, provided that those who truly own it – the trainers, breeders, owners and fans who power its core – stand together and fight for the future they want and know they need, not the one that the distant benevolent dictators of RQ think they do.
The ball’s in the greyhound industry’s court.
Take a tip from me dogs folk – catch it.