Shelbourne cancelled, AGAIN!
The Irish Greyhound Board has deferred the Annual Irish Greyhound Awards which were scheduled to be held at Shelbourne Park Stadium on Saturday (February 11th) and has cancelled the racing programme at the Stadium on the same night.
The decision was taken in the wake of a decision by Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association (DGOBA) to picket the stadium. Despite representations by IGB last night, Wednesday, February 8th, advising of the serious implications of the decision, DGOBA declined to change its decision to picket.
It is extremely disappointing that one of the flagship events of the year to acknowledge excellence within the industry has had to be deferred and racing cancelled again because of DGOBA pickets. IGB is not going to allow our owners, trainers, staff and the general public to be used in this way by a small section within the industry.
IGB reiterates that its Business Plan is focused on addressing the organisation’s unsustainable debt of €21.6 million. There is an absolute requirement for everybody to recognise the commercial realities and the time is well gone when special interests can hold the industry to ransom.
IGB apologises to our sponsors, patrons and greyhound owners and trainers for the disruption caused.
Race meeting at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium cancelled!!
Dr. Sean Brady, Chief Executive of the Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has today (Friday February 3) cancelled a race meeting scheduled for Saturday night (February 4) at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium due to a planned picket.
"It is deeply disappointing that some involved in the greyhound industry should propose to picket a race meeting at the Irish Greyhound Board’s Shelbourne Park Stadium tomorrow night.
"At a time when the industry is grappling with serious financial and structural difficulties, it is even more concerning that anyone would think that disrupting the industry racing calendar and commercial operations will in some way advance their interests.
"As recently as Wednesday, I met with members of Dublin Greyhound Owners and Breeders Association (DGOBA ). I told them that as Interim Chief Executive, I have no interest in revisiting history or in apportioning blame for things that happened in the industry ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Neither am I going to get involved in the various spats between personalities that have obviously been a feature of IGB for a long, long time.
"IGB is charged with managing the current situation and dealing with issues that demand attention urgently. The fundamentals are very worrying. IGB is very seriously challenged financially and nobody should be in any doubt that the organisation faces a defining period.
"At the end of 2015, net group debt stood at €21.6 million. The IGB continues to work very closely with its banking partners to manage issues arising from legacy debt of €12.5 million relating to Limerick Stadium which continues to overhang the industry and inhibit its development. The Board also operates on the basis of a term loan facility of €6 million which is subject to fixed annual repayments, together with the application of any proceeds of Bord na gCon’s asset disposal policy to end of 2017. The balance of this facility was reduced to €4.65 million as of December 31 2015. In addition, the Board has an approved overdraft facility of €6.25 million.
"Many stadia are still facing financial difficulties, even when the contribution of Tote profits is factored in. Difficult decisions have to be made as the current position cannot continue indefinitely. If this industry is to have any kind of viable future, it has to be on the basis of reducing its debt to sustainable levels. There isn’t any alternative to that.
"The Indecon Report which was commissioned by the Government and published in 2014 is the most comprehensive review of the industry ever undertaken. It is very stark and outlines an asset disposal plan, including the sale of Harolds Cross Stadium. The objective here is to reduce interest payments, eliminate bank borrowings and create a viable future for the industry. It’s also about establishing a single top of the range stadium in Dublin. As far as I am concerned, that sale will proceed.
"On foot of the planned protest at Shelbourne Park Stadium tomorrow night about the future of Harolds Cross, IGB has taken the decision to cancel racing at the stadium. This decision was taken in the interests of animal welfare and of owners, trainers, staff and patrons. Such a protest will expose owners and trainers who want their dogs to race, our patrons, our staff and our service providers to unwarranted stress, tension and possibly intimidation. IGB are not prepared to countenance such a scenario and I have ordered the cancellation of the event."
Dr, Sean Brady, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Irish Greyhound Board
BoyleSports sponsored events to deliver €1 million in prizemoney
Irish Greyhound Racing is celebrating its biggest sponsorship of recent years, with the announcement that BoyleSports have signed a 3-year agreement worth €1 million in prizemoney to Greyhound Owners, Trainers and Breeders.
The new agreement will see BoyleSports, Ireland’s largest independently-owned bookmaker, renew their title sponsorship of the Irish Greyhound Derby. Ireland’s biggest Greyhound Racing event, the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby runs through August and September at Shelbourne Park, and attracts Greyhound audiences from across the globe. The 3-year agreement secures sponsorship of the event through 2017, 2018 and 2019.
The bookmakers have also committed to title sponsorship of another important Classic event, the Champion Stakes, which is also run at the Dublin venue in July and August. Both events run over the 550yd distance, and drawing to a close just in time for the Derby, the Champion Stakes attracts many big names as the perfect entrée to our greatest competition. The Champion Stakes sponsorship is based on an initial 1 year term with the option to renew for a further 2 years.
Alongside the two high-profile events, BoyleSports will also sponsor 12 additional sweepstake events and 40 ‘Getting Out Races’. The sweepstakes will cater for a variety of grades and distances and will be scheduled to ensure that there is no more than one per month, maximising Greyhound Owners and Trainers opportunity to participate in the events.
Speaking at the announcement Phil Meaney, Chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, said “John Boyle’s passion for Greyhound racing is evident to all involved in the sport. Through his company, BoyleSports, he has been a long-time supporter of the Irish Greyhound Industry, where he has not only lent financial support to major events but also helps us to increase our reach through the strength of their brand.
Today’s announcement brings that passion and belief in our sport to the next level with what is his biggest Greyhound sponsorship to date. Through this commitment, BoyleSports will be helping us to deliver €1 million in Prizemoney to the Greyhound Owners, Trainers and Breeders over the next 3 years, news which I’ve no doubt will be very welcome to the Greyhound public.”
John Boyle, the chief executive of BoyleSports, said: “We are thrilled to announce BoyleSports will be committed to Irish Greyhound Racing for the next three years in a sponsorship deal worth over one million. We are very committed to Irish sport and this partnership with the IGB, cements BoyleSports position as the biggest supporter of Irish greyhound racing sponsoring two of the most prestigious events on the calendar, the BoyleSports Irish Greyhound Derby and the BoyleSports Champion Stakes.”
Referring to the announcement, Minister of State for Food Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle said: “The greyhound racing sector is part of the fabric of the Irish sporting scene. It enjoys the support of people all over Ireland who are passionate about it, and provides significant public good, both as a social outlet and as a provider of vital employment, especially in rural areas.
In Government we will continue to provide financial support to the sector. However, Bord na gCon is a commercial enterprise, and the greyhound racing sector could not survive without the commitment of its Board and staff, or of owners, breeders, trainers and fans and the ongoing support of sponsors. In this regard I want to thank BoyleSports for its continued commitment to the sport of Greyhound Racing. I also want to congratulate Bord na gCon on concluding this deal which will provide the kind of funding which is the lifeblood of the sector over the next three years.
Nominees announced for the 2016 National Greyhound Racing Awards
Wednesday 18th January 2016
The Irish Greyhound Board has announced the nominees for the 2016 National Greyhound Racing Awards, sponsored by Galway Crystal. The stars of last year will be recognised at the ceremony on Saturday 11th February at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium, Dublin.
Seven Greyhound categories each have three nominations announced, with the overall winner awarded at the ceremony. The remaining Greyhound category, Supreme Greyhound of the Year, will be decided between the Dog of the Year and Bitch of the Year winners.
The human achievements of the sport are also being recognised within the Hall of Fame and Special Merit categories. The 2016 Hall of Fame recipient is Francie Murray. A Greyhound trainer based near Mullingar, he first came to note when in 1977, having just taken over training from his dad Mick, he was pipped to second place in the Derby Final. It was the start of a great training career which has continued to the present day.
The Special Merit Award honours the people who have made a significant contribution to the greyhound industry over the years and Jim Russell is undoubtedly a very special person in that regard. He has owned many fine greyhounds over the years, including the great marathon runner Ruscar Dana. A most dedicated supporter of racing in Kilkenny over many years, Jim is a popular figure at the track.
The Greyhound Welfare award, which was first introduced two years ago, will be awarded to Tara Fitzpatrick. Tara is nominated for her work with All About Greyhounds, a Belfast Greyhound rehoming agency which she established in 2014 and operates on a voluntary basis. Tara is a keen Greyhound enthusiast and along with owning a number of racing Greyhounds she also owns five retired racers. Along with her work with All About Greyhounds, Tara is a keen promoter and supporter of the North of Ireland Retired Greyhound Shows and the All-Ireland Retired Greyhound Shows.
The 2016 National Greyhound Racing Award nominations are:
Dog of the Year
Bitch of the Year
Sprinter of the Year
Stayer of the Year
Brood Bitch of the Year
Chin Gach Gook
Stud Dog of Year
Bull Run Bolt
Drive On Tipp
Supreme Greyhound of the Year
To be announced on Saturday 11th February
Hall of Fame
Special Merit Award
On the 11th February, nominees and invited guests will arrive at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium at 4pm for the Awards ceremony, with Dinner and Racing to follow that evening. This is the tenth consecutive year of the Galway Crystal sponsorship.
Nominees will receive their invites over the coming days, and tickets will also be available to purchase from the IGB Sales Centre on 1890 269 969. Full details of the event are available on www.gogreyhoundracing.ie. www.gogreyhoundracing.ie.
The Greyhound Racing nominees were decided by the selection panel; Tom Aherne, Declan O’Donoghue, Ian Fortune, Michael Fortune, D.J. Histon, Tony Mulvey, Tommy Lyons, Paddy Ryan and Teresa Wall. The Irish Greyhound Board has been recognising the stars of its sport annually since 1965, when Ballyowen Chief was awarded Greyhound of the Year.
Tralee Racing Manager Declan Dowling has issued this schedule for trials and racing at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium for January.
The Irish Greyhound Board Annual Awards will take place on Saturday 11th February at Shelbourne Park Greyhound Stadium. Full details to follow but for now, mark the date in your diary!
Limerick & Clare Greyhound Owners & Breeders Association
Annual Gala/Awards Night Saturday 7th January 2017
The awards are a celebration of the talent, success and achievement bestowed on the recipients by their peers. They are a way of endorsing the winners’ abilities and rewarding their achievements through the hard work put into their accomplishments. The title “Award Winner” enhances ones reputation and has connotations of expertise.
The Award winners for 2016 are:
Dog of Year
Ocean Jerry owned and trained by Mr Tom Fitzgerald, Parteen, Co. Clare.
From 22 starts Jerry won 9 was 2nd on 4 occasions and 3rd six times, a very worthy champion.
Bitch of Year
Mr Charley McLoughney’s, Nenagh, Liosgarbh Ene, having competed in 12 races she won 6 was 2nd 3 times and 3rd twice, a remarkable strike rate by any standards.
Owner with most Race Winners
Mr Tim Gilbourne, Kilmeedy, Co. Limerick. Who had 25 winners, 14 seconds and 21 thirds
Mr Denis P O’Malley, Drombanna, Co. Limerick.
Denis sent out 32 winners, 44 of his charges finished second and 31 finished third.
This is his third successive year winning this award.
Mr Donal Cooney, Broadford, Co. Clare.
Greyhounds trained by Donal won 16 races were 2nd 14 times and 3rd on 21 occasions.
The race programme will consist of 13, all sponsored, finals over a broad cross section of grades over various distances from 350 yds. Sprints to 750 yds. Long Distance. Each winner will be presented with a piece of Galway Crystal and a walking out jacket.
A raffle will also take place during the evening for a variety of prizes including hampers, meal voucher, a Limerick and a Clare Jersey signed by the current respective hurling panels together with a signed Munster Rugby Jersey.
The Association is very grateful for the generosity of its sponsors without whose support the event would have been impossible to hold.
Limerick & Clare GOBA is very proud of the magnificent stadium in Limerick where patrons can enjoy superb racing in plush surroundings.
A special word of thanks to track Management & Staff
Ladbrokes Renew Sponsorship Of The Easter Cup
Great news in advance of Christmas from Shelbourne Park as Ladbrokes have confirmed their position again as the Title sponsor of the 2017 Easter Cup. Offering over €42,000 in Prizemoney, the Easter Cup was the first ever open event to run in Ireland, in 1928.
Ladbrokes have long been associated with Greyhound Racing in Shelbourne Park having previously sponsored two other Classic events, the Open 600 and the Irish Greyhound Derby at the venue.
The Ladbrokes Easter Cup will run over 4 Saturday nights at the Dublin venue, with the Final on Saturday 11th March. The Easter Cup has traditionally attracted the top greyhounds in training, and through the years some of the most infamous names in the sport have competed. Mick The Miller, arguably the most famous greyhound, was beaten by half a length in the 1929 running. Spanish Battleship won in 1954 & 1955 in the middle of his Derby hat-trick. The winner of this year’s competition will receive €25,000.
Speaking at the announcement Patrick Flynn, Sales, Commercial & Operations Manager at Shelbourne Park said, “We are delighted that Ladbrokes are re-confirmed as the sponsor of the 2017 Easter Cup which is one of the feature events on the Shelbourne Park racing calendar. Our relationship goes back many years and has proven very successful to date. The Ladbrokes Easter Cup is one of the most prestigious events in the racing calendar and provides the perfect platform to continue to build on previous sponsorship partnerships.”
Ladbrokes Director Jackie Murphy added: "We've enjoyed many associations with Shelbourne Park and look forward to getting behind the Ladbrokes Easter Cup once again next year. We are committed to supporting Irish sport and this will be one of a number of top quality Irish sporting events that our name will be partnered with in 2017."
Key Event Dates
1st Round Heats Saturday 18th February
2nd Round Heats Saturday 25th February
Semi-Finals Saturday 4th March
Final Saturday 11th March
Sponsors confirm renewal of World’s Richest Puppy Race
The World’s Richest Puppy Race, the Con and Annie Kirby Memorial, is set to return to Limerick Greyhound Stadium in 2017 following a detailed review of the event with the sponsors, Noreen and JP McManus. The 2016 event, which ran over 5 weeks in March and April, was the most successful to date with a 12% increase in attendances and a reach of over half a million on social media.
The sponsors will also be continuing their GAA Nominators competition, which matches Limerick GAA clubs to competing Greyhounds and awards the six finalist Clubs a share in a €20,000 prize fund each year. Along with their €10,000 prize, the winning club also receives a free fundraising benefit night at Limerick Greyhound Stadium.
IGB Chairman Phil Meaney commented; "We are thrilled that Noreen & JP McManus have confirmed the renewal of their sponsorship of this fantastic Puppy event at Limerick Greyhound Stadium, and are extremely grateful to them for their continued investment. Over the past 4 years, the event has recognised and rewarded the good young stock of the racing industry, with the winners all going on to make their mark in the sport. The 2016 event was our most successful to date receiving tremendous support from the Greyhound Racing and GAA communities alike. I’m looking forward to 2017 already.”
Previous winners of the Con & Annie Kirby Memorial:
2013 Greyhound: Roxholme Bully GAA Club: Monagea
2014 Greyhound: BoyleSports Hero GAA Club: Galbally GAA
2015 Greyhound: Cable Bay GAA Club: Fr. Casey’s
2016 Greyhound: Droopys Roddick GAA Club: Bruree GAA
The Con and Annie Kirby Memorial, which was first run in 2013, offers a prizefund of €160,000 to the competing Greyhounds. To date, €720,000 in prizemoney has been awarded to Greyhound and GAA Club winners. The event is named in memory of Noreen McManus’ late parents.
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