The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is delighted to announce that the BAGS Kennelhand of the Year for 2021 is Kelly Gutteridge.

This annual award is given to one exceptional kennelhand who shows incredible dedication to their work and who always oes that ‘extra mile’ for the greyhounds in their charge.

Head Kennelhand with David Mullins, Kelly has been described by nominees as a ‘true asset to her team’ and praised for the outstanding care she provides her greyhounds. Kelly joined the Mullin’s team over 12 years ago and, as well as weekly visits to their attached track Romford, she travels all over the country with the kennels’ open racers.

Kelly goes above and beyond to keep owners updated on their greyhound’s progress and wellbeing. One nominee commented on how welcome Kelly had made them feel as a new owner. They said that she is a ‘real credit to the sport’.

The nominations were judged by an industry panel comprising RPGTV’S Tanya Stevenson, Cheryl Miller, Manager of Greyhound Trust Harvel (Croftview Kennels) and GBGB’s Welfare and Integrity Manager, Duncan Gibson.

The panel also chose two runners up for the prestigious award – Sam James (who works for trainer Tom Edgar) and Lisa Samson (Richard Devenish).

Kelly will receive her trophy at GBGB’s Greyhound of the Year Awards which are being held at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on Sunday 15th May. As well as a ticket to the ceremony and accommodation for the evening, she will also receive a £500 prize thanks to sponsorship from BAGS. The two runners up both receive £250.

Commenting on her Award, Kelly said:

“To be honest, I was overwhelmed when I received the phone call to say that I had won. It is such an honour to be nominated for the award, let alone win it. I’m hugely grateful to the people who put my name forward.

“Like most people in this job, I do it for the love of the dogs. They are what it’s all about and I get such a buzz from seeing them improve on the track. Yes, it is long hours and a lot of travelling but it is such an achievement when one of your greyhounds gets a win. It makes it all worth it.”

Commenting on the Award, Tanya Stevenson, said:

“Kennelhands are the unsung heroes of our sport, putting in endless hours of devotion to care for our canine athletes so they can reach their potential on the track. They deserve our utmost praise and support for all that they do day-in, day-out.

“We had some fantastic entries this year and thank you to everyone who took the time put a nomination forward. Our congratulations to our very worthy winner Kelly and our two runners up, Lisa and Sam.”

Karen McMillan, Stadium Manager at Romford Greyhound Stadium, said:

“I am so pleased for Kelly on winning the Kennelhand of the Year award. She is always available to help anyone who needs it and offers ongoing support to new recruits. Her love for the dogs and Romford goes without saying. A very worthy winner – congratulations Kelly from everyone at Romford.”

Kelly with Troy Zico, Ladbrokes Puppy Derby Winner 2019