Owning a Greyhound
Do you enjoy the racing action? Imagine how much better it would be if you owned your very own greyhound? There’s more than one way to get involved; you can buy individually or get a few friends together and start a syndicate.
Owning a racing greyhound is a unique and exhilarating experience, accessible to everyone. Share in the pride, the excitement, the highs and lows and the hope that your dog can become a champion:
- Affordability - for approx. £50 per week training fees and the initial cost of the greyhound,
you’ll be off and running in no time – split the costs between as many people as you need to.
- Excitement - bring along your friends and co-owners to the track, have a drink and a meal
while cheering on your very own canine athlete.
- Variety - you can buy a puppy and rear him into a winner, or buy a proven racer in your
preferred category; that can be a standard runner, sprinter, marathon runner or hurdler.
- Exclusivity - many tracks offer owner benefits including free entry, discounted food and drinks
and quality sponsorship packages where your name or company will appear in the racecard.
- Accessibility - all tracks race at least twice weekly so there’s plenty of opportunity to come
and see your pride and joy do what they do best with many races broadcast live around the world.
- Pride - win or lose your greyhound will quickly become your pride and joy; you can walk him
on a visit to the trainer’s kennels and meet other proud greyhound owners at the same time.
Owning a greyhound is affordable and great fun - nothing beats the thrill of watching your own greyhound pass the winning line first. This section will provide you with all the information you need from what to consider and where to find greyhounds for sale through to retirement and care when your dog’s racing career comes to an end.
There are several ways to buy a racing greyhound but for the newcomer, the best advice is to talk to one of the trainers at the track where you want your greyhound to race. Most trainers have young dogs in training that they have bought themselves with a view to selling them on to current or new owners.
By adopting this approach, the newcomer to greyhound ownership will know he or she will have a greyhound that, barring illness or injury, should be racing on a regular basis at their chosen track.
The best way to make contact with trainers is to speak with the Racing Manager at your local track who will be able to supply you with names and telephone numbers. Most racing managers are only too willing to give advice on the subject.
To keep costs to a minimum try and find two or three friends who may also be interested in sharing the ownership of a greyhound. This way the costs are split and your new acquisition will not become a burden on your pocket.
Others ways to buy a greyhound
An alternative way of purchasing a greyhound is at a public auction (sometimes also termed a “Sales Trial”). At an auction, the greyhounds are put through a trial, usually two or three at a time, to test their ability and are then sold to the highest bidder afterwards. There are regular sales in Ireland, as well as at several venues in Britain.
The trade publications (including Racing Post, Greyhound Star and Sporting Press) regularly carry adverts for greyhounds for sale. Here are some useful pointers to help you make a good purchase:
- Golden Rule: Get the deal right before you hand over your money.
- A greyhound, unlike a second hand car, does not have a ‘book price’. In Britain, people seldom haggle. In Ireland, it’s more common and a greyhound’s price is usually open to negotiation.
- If you are buying from Ireland, try to deal with the owner, not the agent. Some dogs are advertised by the agent prior to being bought from the original owner. The difference between good and bad value is frequently the agent’s profit.
- Never buy a greyhound without an up-to-date vet’s certificate. Make sure the certificate is from a known vet who has a good knowledge of greyhounds.
- Beware the pup who has won his first race by a wide margin – it was almost certainly competing against mediocrity. Greyhounds with moderate pace can be made to look like champions.
- Study comparative form before you buy. The difference between 29.50 on soft ground and 29.50 on good ground can be up to half a second. What was the fastest time of the night? What was the fastest time of the week? Form from British tracks can be found at www.thedogs.co.uk and from Irish tracks at www.igb.ie
- When you purchase your greyhound be sure to obtain the necessary transfer documents required to change the ownership.
- Although it may seem a long way off, make sure you have retirement plans for your greyhound for when they finish racing. Will you be able to find the greyhound a suitable home? Will you continue to pay to have them in retirement kennels?