Finding permanent homes for greyhounds when they retire from racing is the key activity of the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) in Tasmania.
Educating the community about greyhounds’ gentle and affectionate nature is also a major element of the GAP work.
A presence at the Agfest field days in the state’s north earlier this month, which was attended by more than 60,000 people over three days despite the often wet weather, was the perfect event to achieve both these outcomes.
GAP took six to eight dogs to Agfest every day. The greyhounds were joined by seven volunteers to talk about GAP and greyhounds.
As a direct result of attending Agfest this year, I am pleased to report nine adoptions, with three greyhounds entering foster care. A further three applications have been received online in the days after Agfest.
This is an excellent result and a good news story for our industry and the way it interacts with the broader Tasmanian community.
I would like to acknowledge the excellent work that is done by the GAP team and our dedicated volunteers.
To give this some context, the GAP successfully adopted out 63 greyhounds in 2014/15.
From greyhounds to harness, Tasracing has selected the 10 participants for the 2016 6tyo Youngbloods Challenge – the annual showcase for young drivers in Tasmania.
The series will be conducted at Hobart on 22 May, Devonport on 23 May and Launceston on 29 May.
The series will comprise six heats with 10 starters and an emergency. Rotated barrier draws, similar to the system used for the Australasian Young Driver’s Championship, will apply for the first five heats with a random barrier draw for the sixth.
The drivers selected are Alex Ashwood, Nicholas Brockman, Dylan Ford, Samantha Freeman, Samantha Gangell, Lyarna Graham (emergency), Justin Howlett, Matthew Howlett, Jack Laugher, Wade Rattray and Brady Woods.
They are the top five drivers from last season’s Tasmanian Junior Driver’s Premiership and the current season’s leading five drivers.
All participants are clearly talented young drivers.
The list includes four previous winners and two emerging drivers who are in winning form.
Tasmania has a long history of producing quality young drivers and participation in the Youngbloods competition is an important part of their skill development.
I would also like to acknowledge the strong and enduring support that 6tyo provides to the Tasmanian harness racing industry.
Dr Eliot Forbes