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Blog: Howard Berlin - Owner

I was looking at some old family photos recently and I came across one where my father was holding up a betting slip and it was taken in front of a black and white TV set. I could see what was on TV and it was the BBC TV Trophy and I remember the greyhound he had an anti-post each way bet on had the first name Linda (which is my sisters name).  It must have been around 1965. I am sure some greyhound historian can tell me the exact year of the race and the full name of the greyhound and I remember she came third, but what is etched in my memory is watching the race live with my sister, parents and a group of my parents’ friends and that this was an annual event to be watched just like the FA Cup Final, Boat Race, Grand National or the Derby at Epsom.  Fast forward 50 odd years and whilst this year’s TV Trophy was an excellent event at Towcester, this competition and the overall state of greyhound racing is sadly a shadow of its former glory.

I am writing this because there are organisations out there who have a duty/obligation to halt the decline and to try and regain our better days. I say they have a duty and obligation to invest in our industry and if they do they will ensure that greyhound racing has a long-term future. I have no doubt that if they properly invest they will make good money from greyhound racing.  It’s time for Betfair to set an example to the rest of our industry and start properly contributing to the BGRF fund. Us owners allow Betfair to use our greyhounds’ names. It’s only right they properly invest.  

The future of live Sky Greyhound racing is in doubt at the moment. It would be another step down the ladder if we lose Sky’s brilliant live coverage not least because we get free advertising from the very fact that we are on Sky. Sky Sports subscribers flick from channel to channel (I know I do much to my wife’s displeasure) and we get new people interested just from this.  Lose Sky and we lose potential new fans.  

On a personal note it’s great to see Yarmouth on RPGTV. Prize money has been increased and the future is looking good.  They also have a great rehoming scheme.  I must give a plug to Debbie Mullins at Dillymore Kennels who with John are part of the Suffolk Retirement Trust and who have done a brilliant job over the years in rehoming greyhounds.  

I was at Crayford recently to watch my Meadow in the final of the Kent St Ledger. I overheard two ten year old boys taking about the next race.  One said to the other “the three dogs a short runner”. I was intrigued as the distance was 380m.  I watched the race with interest.  The boy was right. I say there is hope for the future.