The GBGB surprised us all by modernising the badly required involvement of owners and trainers via an initiative of two places on their board. There was only one application for a trainer’s representative and the Nottingham trainer was duly elected democratically. For the owners representative role there were ten applicants correctly nominated and seconded for the ballot paper to be voted on by their peers in the ownership of greyhounds.

The GBGB took it upon themselves to eliminate eight of those nominated and to hand pick just two southern based applicants to appear on the voting paper, I myself was one candidate eliminated to democratically stand for election. I have no criminal antecedents, correctly nominated and seconded by two long standing owners of numerous Midlands top class greyhounds, also having had forty years experience in board rooms, a chair of governor’s at the largest hospital trust in the UK, also a chair of governor’s at a top performing school for a decade and duly qualified via owning ten greyhounds at Monmore Green and being involved in all aspects of greyhound racing for some fifty years now and previously a head man to three top derby winning and classic trainers in the 1970s and 1980s.

The elected candidate, Paul Ephremsen, won the ballot with just 700 votes from owners from over 7,000 ballot papers issued, many owners that I spoke to at the time ripped up there ballot papers in frustration with just two southern based candidates being literally hand picked to stand for the election. Now we see that, for whatever reason, the GBGBs selected candidate has resigned, leaving no owner representation on the GBGB board. I have written twice to the new chief executive at the GBGB, Mark Bird, both of those letters have gone unanswered without even the basic courtesy of an acknowledgement, having been totally ignored and it appears “black listed” for whatever reason? I qualified to stand for numerous reasons and also have a retired dog at home that was a great servant to the Monmore track for over four years.

It will now be interesting to see just where we go now as owners and what the next move will be by the GBGB and if there will now be a fair and democratic ballot to allow owners, particularly in the Midlands and the North, i.e. Monmore, Perry Barr, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sunderland, Shawfield, etc., to decide who they want to represent them on the GBGB board and not have a candidate literally parachuted in-situ by the GBGB.

Michael Kelly – Birmingham B14

I acknowledge Mr Kelly’s letter and will be writing back to him to outline our intention, which is that the GBGB will be required to hold an election process once more to select a new owner’s representative. This will take place in due course.

Mark Bird – Managing Director GBGB

I thoroughly enjoyed your repeat feature on Dr Alessandro Piras but would like him to clarify the position concerning the use of shaving gel instead of Vaseline as a remedy for track leg.

I have searched on the internet for the ingredients of shaving gel and note that some might be considered toxic.  There is also the possibility that some might not be allowed under GBGB rules.  Therefore it might be worth clarifying this with the powers that be in order to prevent a sudden increase in positive tests.

Mark Harrod – via email

Only treatments that are allowed on the trainers permitted list may be used. Shaving gel isn’t one of them. When Vaseline is used for a track leg it must be under the supervision of the vet.’%20Guide%20to%20Medication%20Control%20in%20Greyhounds%202014.pdf

Duncan Gibson – Manager of Welfare & Integrity Serves GBGB

Scooby Blue was born on 1st May 2009, bred and trained by Kim Billingham. He spent the whole of his racing career at Monmore Green. He won 26 of his 104 races including a three in a row and his 100 up coat. A quick trapper he always gave 100% in a prolific grading career. Scooby died after a short illness on 5th February 2018. Owned by the First of May syndicate he spent his retirement in a family environment a short distance from his beloved Monmore. He visited the track for RGT fund raising events.

Michael Kelly via email