The first AGM of the GTA under the new chairman Ricky Holloway took place last night, Wednesday 29th August 2012, at Coventry Stadium at a well-attended meeting.
The meeting unanimously expressed a vote of no confidence in the current Practitioner Director of the GBGB, Mr John Haynes and instructed Holloway to write to the Board withdrawing support for Mr Haynes. There was also a unanimous view that grants to promoters for use in commercial upkeep and capital expenditure should cease and all such funding should be confined to improvements on track safety and welfare of the dogs and, any monies left over should be put to prize money. In another Holloway initiative and as per his manifesto the meeting agreed to open membership of the GTA to all greyhound trainers.
Holloway said: “This was a huge step forward for the industry. The members made it clear to me that they were determined to get an adequate commercial return for their product. We supply this industry with a product and we have never been adequately recompensed nor is there any negotiation process which protects the welfare of the racing greyhound.”
IN REPLY TO CRAZY JOE’S POST ON GREYHOUNDSCENE STATING THAT HE HAS BEEN INFORMED THAT GOBATA, IN OUR MEETINGS WITH GBGB/BGRF, HAVE CALLED FOR CENTRAL CONTRACTS FOR THE TOP SIX TRAINERS, ALL I CAN SAY IS THAT AS GOBATA CHAIRMAN THIS IS NEWS TO ME AND SMACKS OF A CONTINUED CAMPAIGN TO DIVIDE TRAINERS BY CLAIMING THAT GOBATA ARE ELITIST. WE CALL ON ALL TRAINERS TO MAINTAIN THE SEEDS OF UNITY THAT HAVE BEEN EVIDENT BOTH DURING THE INAUGRAL TRAINERS’ PREMIER LEAGUE AND AT RECENT
GOBATA MEETINGS AND BACK RICKY HOLLOWAY IN HIS CAMPAIGN TO BE CHAIRMAN OF THE GTA AND ARREST THE CONTINUED DECLINE IN OUR SPORT.
AS HAS BEEN WELL DOCUMENTED, DESPITE NUMEROUS REQUESTS THE GBGB HAS REFUSED TO MEET WITH ANY REPRESENTATIVES OF TRAINERS WHO ARE OUTSIDE THE CURRENT COSY SET-UP OF WHICH MR SIMPSON IS PART. IT TOOK THE THREAT OF A BOYCOTT OF THE BETFAIR TRAINERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP PROPOSED BY THE LEADING FIGURES IN THE GAME TO SECURE A MEETING WITH TOM KELLY AND MARGARET WOODRUFF OF THE BGRF. THESE TRAINERS FELT THAT THEY COULDN’T CALL ON THEIR GRADED COLLEAGUES TO RISK THEIR LIVELIHOODS AND CONTRACTS BY ACTING SO DELIBERATELY CHOSE A MEETING AT WHICH THEY WERE THE SOLE LOSERS FINANCIALLY TO PRESENT A CASE TO TRY TO ARREST THE DECLINE IN OUR SPORT AND THE FINANCIAL VIABILITY OF GREYHOUND TRAINERS.
"GTA will not be represented by a person who is not an owner nor a trainer and is paid by the GBGB"
THE recent GOBATA annual general meeting unanimously endorsed the candidature of Ricky Holloway for the position of Chairman of the Greyhound Trainers’ Association.
We would urge all trainers to take part in the upcoming election and to fully get behind Ricky in his bid to bring meaningful representation of trainers’ views and issues.
Despite the fact that the GBGB are bound under their own Articles of Association to develop a commercial strategy for the sport they have signally failed to do so and the exodus continues. It is vitally important that Ricky is returned in this election with unequivocal support of the majority of trainers.
The GTA has disenfranchised its own members by refusing to hold annual general meetings. Ricky’s election will begin the process of legitimising our position as stakeholders in the industry. Please take the time to make the effort and vote for him.
GOBATA will stage its annual general meeting at Towcester Racecourse this Sunday, 29 April at 2pm prompt. This will be a very important meeting for all practitioners with a number of issues to be discussed and therefore as many as possible are urged to attend. The theme of the meeting will be a blueprint for racing 2012.Agenda
1 Opening remarks
3 Chairman’s Report
4 Treasurer’s Report
5 Secretary’s Report
6 Greyhound Racing at Towcester
7 The Premier League
Barry Faulkner, will be invited to attend and to address the meeting also. Have your say
Questions from the floor are both invited and welcomed.
Mike Palmer (Secretary, GOBATA)AGM MINUTES - Click here.
. . . and the dream is to stage the Derby next year
THE best news to hit greyhound racing in goodness knows how long has been confirmed by Harry Findlay, whose bid to re-open Coventry has been given the green light by the GBGB with the granting of a licence by the ruling body.
“When I got that licence in my hand yesterday it was like a dream come true, we are now ready to rumble and the plan is to stage our first meeting on Sunday evening, 20 May with a ten-race all open card.”
Coventry’s Brandon Stadium stopped trading in December 2009 and has remained dormant greyhound-wise ever since but Findlay pledges the track will come back in style. “This is for the benefit of owners, trainers and the public and greyhound racing in general,” said the flamboyant new promoter.
“We don’t want anything to do with BAGS racing, have told the GBGB that we won’t be seeking any grants, a system which I consider wrong, and will go with this under our own steam in a bid to make what is a great track the best in the country.
Time long overdue to reduce the sentences......
DESPITE correspondence between GOBATA and the GBGB during the past couple of years the ruling body continues to bury its head in the sand over the matter of kennelling times, probably the most contentious issue amongst owners and trainers of all the rules and regulations governing the sport.
Our impassioned pleas to Procter House for shorter kennelling times have not been completely ignored but, at the same time, the status quo remains in place and we are no closer to a rule change than we were two years ago.
We were ‘advised’ by the GBGB that reducing kennelling times would cause impracticalities, mostly we fancy a line trotted out by promoters, and that areas which would become vulnerable as a result of a change would include integrity, which is one we don’t understand!
They demand immediate negotiations...
IN a climate where the number of licenced trainers has suffered a year on year fall of 108 (over 10%), continuing the recent trend, there is now evidence that there are resources available to help trainers who are in financial difficulties.
Recent initiatives such as the owners’ bonus scheme and the Bags track championship are welcome but only benefit graded trainers. One group who have not benefitted are open race trainers.
Quality open racing is now seen as a means of driving turnover with an increasing presence at Bags meetings, RPGTV, and Sky Sports. For example:
* Ladbrokes have recently declared “the quality of racing (Racing Post Greyhounds TV) has been quite exceptional and boosted turnover.”
* William Hill talks of a six-figure boost to turnover at Newcastle on a recent Sky meeting.
* Coral have stated “our on-line and telephone business has seen great upturn.”
* Betfair: “RPGTV has made a very encouraging start in terms of the positive impact it has had on turnover.” Betfair regularly match over £1m per evening.
* Bet365 “we have so far seen excellent levels of business on the RPGTV programme, with turnover exceeding our expectation.”
Ruling body “does not represent me” says Ricky...
TRAINER Ricky Holloway is not one for holding back, never was, never will be, and he was like a man possessed when guesting on Racing Post Greyhounds TV on Saturday when he tore into the GBGB, describing the board as “unelected people who are in charge of a democracy but running it instead as a closed shop.”
The Essex-based Holloway pulled no punches either when a viewer emailed in contradicting his statement that “there is nobody on the board who represents me.” The sender of the email wanted to ‘remind’ Holloway that the GBGB’s practitioners’ representative is Johnny Haynes, a statement which was as good as holding a red rag to a red bull!
“Mr Haynes does not represent me, never has done, and I have neither met nor spoken to the man. He too is up there on the board and is also unelected so how can anyone say that he represents me, and I won’t accept what anyone who says to the contrary. Nobody but nobody at GBGB represents me, it’s sad but they don’t have a clue.
“Despite what some people would have you believe the practitioners don’t have any idea about who’s who on the board and even less do they have a point of contact there. The problem is that the board consists largely of non-greyhound people, they are there as regulators but this sport needs a body to promote it, which is something the GBGB are not doing.”
“It is time for the jobs for boys policy to stop, let’s get real doggie people on the board, that’s one of the ways forward, at the moment the game is going backwards and there is not a trainer out there who is unconcerned about the mess greyhound racing is in, believe me lots of them are worried sick about their future in the game.”
Changing subjects, Holloway stated that “racegoers need a tetanus injection before going into the toilets at Wimbledon,” – now where have we heard that before?
Part two of Holloway’s Racing Post Greyhounds TV appearances will follow in the near future. “They have invited me back for another show,” he said. We can’t wait!
. . . and kennel inspections deter ‘Greyhound Trainers’
REGISTRATIONS of trainers with the GBGB are falling at a rate of 100 a year while the number of new greyhounds registered is also dropping.
Trainers, new or current, must apply for renewals at year end and, as was the case in 2010 when the drop was 105 compared with the previous 12 months, a similar drop is expected when the numbers for 2012 are counted.
GBGB registrar Dave Levy anticipates a similar fall off for the new year, although the final count won’t be known for a few weeks yet. “We give trainers a week or so’s grace to get their renewals in, some get lost in the post and the like, but it’s looking like the numbers will fall at a similar rate which would give us approximately 900 registrations for 2012,” he said.
Quarantine ban lifted after two dogs die following trials...
IT was business as usual for trainer Paul White at Hall Green on Monday following the lifting of GBGB quarantine restrictions at his Stoke-on-Trent kennels which were imposed after the death of two of his trial runners at the track earlier this month.
The restrictions, put in place while the ruling body awaited results of post-mortems on the two greyhounds, were lifted on Friday after the tests came back negative for any infectious diseases. The tests were conducted by former Coventry vet, Richard Payne.
“Everything was shut down here and the GBGB also ordered tests on another 15 runners at the kennels and all, thankfully, were given the green light,” said White, who described the past two weeks as the “worst weeks of my life in greyhound racing.”