TRAINERS are quitting the sport at a rate of two a week according to figures given to GOBATA by GBGB registrar Dave Levy yesterday.

The majority of those leaving the game come from the ranks of Greyhound Trainers as opposed to Professional trainers but Levy refutes suggestions from certain quarters that there is a mass exodus.

The figures have been going down by about 100 each year but the number of licences issued or renewed this year is much the same as in 2011, roughly 500 greyhound trainers and 400 professionals.

As trainers fall away so others come on board, it is a sad fact of life that the economy is hitting everyone and the fact that some trainers are seeking pastures new is not exclusive to greyhound racing, many industries are  suffering.

The cost of diesel has soared in recent years and the knock-on effect is that everything else has gone up in price, it costs more to feed a dog these days and, of course, the cost of taking a dog to and from a track has risen sharply.

Track closures, although the pace has thankfully slackened somewhat, has inevitably impacted on trainers’ businesses but those handlers who rent their kennels are feeling the pinch more than those who own their kennels.

The cost of renting a place doesn’t go down, in fact it usually goes up year on year, and what with transport costs and all the other bits and bobs trainers are finding it difficult to earn a living. Truth is that many are running at a loss.

Owners and trainers have not been compensated for the increasing costs by any significant hike in prizemoney, indeed we are a far cry from the days when a graded dog would cover his monthly kennel bill with a win every four weeks.

Not so these days and two trainers a week leaving the sport may not be a great surprise in the current climate but it is nevertheless two too many. The re-opening of Coventry has steadied the ship somewhat as will the emergence of Towcester, there are some pluses out there, but not many!

 


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