Hugely Successful Manukau Open Day

The Auckland GRC hosted a very successful open day last Saturday morning which was an extremely well attended promotion.  Around 80 retired, rehomed greyhounds returned to the venue, along with 130 people. Auckland GRC Chairman John Roberts welcomed everyone to the event which was organized by AGRC Board member Dave Byrn.


Pictured: Gracie, Myuki, Micky and Gaye and their wonderful pets all had a memorable day during the very well attended Auckland GRC open day held last Saturday


Five greyhounds were available for rehoming from the GAP kennels operated by Carolyn Henley and Abbie Zanskar. The greyhounds were introduced to the attendees with two of those former chasers finding their forever homes during the event.


The crowd was divided into three groups who were led by club members Selwyn Loader, Mike Schneider and John Roberts, while other AGRC club members and staff contributed to the smooth running of the day. Those groups rotated around three different venue locations where various aspects of race day details were explained to them.


Race day starter Gary Sharp explained the duties of the race starter and the starting procedures at the 318m traps. People were invited to “box” their greyhounds through open traps with the majority of them breezing through the traps much to the absolute delight of their owners.


A stationary lure was hung on the rail by the finishing line which instantly became the focus of attention for the greyhounds. The art of lure driving was explained together with the speeds reached by greyhounds when they are racing.


People were invited to place their greyhounds on top of the podium for photo opportunities, wearing dress rugs that were specially made for the open day. They were inscribed with “Winner, Forever Homes Stakes, AGRC Open Day 2019”. Children attending were given small greyhound statuettes as a memento from the day. They were engraved with “Top Handler, AGRC Open Day 2019”.



Auckland GRC Chairman John Roberts was “reunited’ with some of his previous greyhounds; the ex-racers showing an eagerness to get into starting area. They were dying to go into a starting box for a race. It’s in their DNA! one of the three groups of rehomed greyhounds about to start their track tour  


The AGRC race day vet Joan Hessell kindly came along and gave a talk to each group, explaining the pre-race vet checks, identification, weighing and kennelling procedures. She also covered off treatment and management of any post-race injuries.


There was a very positive feel about the promotion, with great feedback being received about the information provided and the delight of being able to watch their greyhounds enjoying their trip down memory lane. The comment, “they never forget” was expressed many times.


After a closing summary to the full group the AGRC provided morning tea, which also included the drawing of fund-raising raffles. Many of those attending then spontaneously took the opportunity to walk the track again, posing for photo opportunities in front of the starting boxes and the finish line.



Elly Mae (Sometime Soon) determined to take the Lure home with her as a trophy; Gaye Arrowsmith with her Elly Mae and specially prepared dress rug; Dan Arrowsmith with Homer – pics supplied by Dan & Gaye Arrowsmith


It was very pleasing to later view photographs and comments on the day’s activities shared on social media.


By Dave Byrn

Posted on 26 November 2019

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