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GBGB Awards - 2017 BAGS Kennelhand of the Year

2017 Kennelhand of the Year Anne Mahon at Wimbledon with connections of 2011 Grand National winner Victoria Falls.


The Greyhound Board of Great Britain is pleased to announce that 2017’s BAGS sponsored Kennelhand of the Year is Anne Mahon, Head Kennelhand to Hove, and formerly Wimbledon attached handler Richard Rees.

A call for nominations issued in December via the GBGB Calendar and social media, generated the biggest response ever seen for this popular and prestigious award, as owners, trainers and greyhound racing enthusiasts from all over the country showed their support for the kennelstaff who devote so much time and care to the greyhounds in their charge.

The judging panel (comprising broadcaster Tanya Stevenson, GBGB Welfare and Integrity Manager Duncan Gibson, Head of Greyhound Trust Harvel (Croftview Kennels) Cheryl Miller and Scott Harvey of sponsors BAGS), presented with arguably their toughest task yet, deliberated at length and whilst there were many strong candidates, they were unanimous in their support for this year’s worthy winner.

A large number of nominations from owners, staff and others connected with the Rees kennel described Anne’s dedication whilst working for three generations of the Rees family over 50 plus years with comments including:

‘Works tremendously hard, and always has time for all the owners and more importantly all the dogs!’

‘You cannot make Anne slow down, I dare anyone to try…she has committed her life to the greyhounds whom she loves and cares for as if they were her own pets… She’ll never take a sick day without an argument and is always going the extra mile for the dogs and her fellow staff’.

‘She is totally dedicated to the dogs in her care’

Anne will be presented with her trophy and a cheque for £500 at the GBGB Awards ceremony on Sunday 28th January at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge.

The judging panel praised the quality of this years’ bumper entry, which included younger kennel staff whose passion and enthusiasm shone through, as well as those whose continuous support and commitment, sometimes over decades, was clearly invaluable to those who had nominated them.

Such was the standard that three runners up prizes were also awarded. Shannon Miller, Head Kennelhand for Paul Miller (Sunderland), Michael Barker, Kennelhand to Barry O’Sullivan (Crayford), and Larry Whitfield, kennelhand for Richard Devenish (Peterborough) will all receive £250. The judging panel also wished to record a ‘special commendation’ to 16-year-old Oliver Flynn, kennelhand to Heather Dimmock, whose obvious passion and determination to join the sport particularly caught their attention.

The judges were keen to record their gratitude to everyone who nominated, and to encourage those whose nominations were not successful this year to nominate again in future years.