GBGB trainers representative Peter Harnden will be asking trainers to sign up to a register of ‘available kennel spaces’ as part of a new initiative to drive up standards in racing kennels.

Pete Harnden

The Nottingham based handler recently expressed his frustration that a small number of racing kennels are continuing to operate while seemingly falling below acceptable welfare standards.

He apportioned some of the blame on the GBGB stipendiary stewards for not strictly enforcing their own rules and regulations. However, following discussions with Senior Steward Paul Illingworth, Harnden is considerably more hopeful.

He said: “We have had some quite frank discussions and I think we have made very good progress.

“To be fair to the trainer, and in accordance with the rules, if the stipe has concerns about a kennel, the first action has to be the issuing of an enforcement notice to allow the trainer time to reach the required standard.

“But in serious cases, or if he or she has immediate concerns about the condition of the dogs, they need an option to re-home those dogs immediately.

“This certainly isn’t a new situation, but until now GBGB staff have had to frantically phone around to find kennels to take the dogs.

“Going forward we hope to have a register of available spaces. GBGB will cover the kennel dogs for a short period while other arrangements are made.

“I am confident that this is just the start.

“Since I went public about my concerns a couple of weeks ago, the response from other trainers has been fantastic. They are desperate that the welfare of the dogs must be the priority”.

Details of how trainers can sign up for the register are to appear in a forthcoming GBGB Calendar.