2007 Former Belle Vue vet Paul Evans is found guilty of ‘disgraceful conduct’ by the Royal Veterinary College after admitting supplying Norethindrone to two greyhounds trained by Elaine Parker. Evans admitted failing to keeping abreast of NGRC rules but argued that the NGRC rules relating to season suppressants were contrary to the club’s own rules in that they would affect race form and were not in the best interest of the greyhound’s welfare. Evans’ barrister was scornful of the NGRC’s rule book for its inconsistency and ambiguity. The college made no order against Evans. The Committee also found it “inconceivable” that NGRC officials were not aware of the drug’s use prior to March 2006. During the enquiry, Evans had submitted a letter from NGRC chief executive Alistair McLean stating that the use of norethindrone was never allowed under the rules of racing. However, Evans obtained evidence showing that former GRA vet Bruce Prole had produce a prize winning paper in 1974 on the benefits of norethisterone in estrus suppression in the racing greyhound. The hearing issued the following statement: “The Committee would also like to put on record its poor opinion of the NGRC’s rules and disciplinary procedure, in particular the ambiguity of certain rules, the lack of reason given for the findings of the stewards’ enquiries, and the inadequacy of the arrangement to inform respondents of the appeals procedure.”

1987 Independent racing legend Joe Booth dies in hospital on New Years Eve aged 81.

2005 Tyrur Ted is retired to stud after suffering a stress fracture of a metatarsal. He won 25 of his 43 races including the Laurels and Tote Gold Cup.

1958 Joe Grosse, who has been employed at the GRA’s breeding kennel at Fancourt Farm in Surrey tells the racing press of an unusual incident that occurred during the war. Kennel star Greta Ranee, who in 1935 had been the first ever female winner of the Greyhound Derby, escaped from Farncourt and went missing for several hours. Joe was standing near a window when the veteran returned carrying something in her mouth. As Joe watched, she gently placed an uncracked fresh egg on the doorstep. A particularly welcome present given the food rationing at the time.

2004 Rye House re-opens under the control of former racing manager Sue Picton. Michael Courtney is the new grader.

1994 Shelbourne stage a 12.30am race watched almost exclusively by sponsors the Irish Bank Officials Association. The sponsors let it be known that they would like to drink beyond 11pm, as dictated by licensing laws which insist bars must close within 30 minutes of the last race (approx 10.30pm). To comply, the track ushered out the regulars at 11pm with the 400 members of the IBOA still happily drinking. The final race duly went off in the early hours of Sunday morning.

1959 Mrs Frances Chandler gives the keynote speech at the first ever Gimcrack luncheon at the Dorchester Hotel. She called on the industry for two specific items. Firstly, she asked for standardisation among the tracks in relation to type of starting traps, hare, “but above all the method of time”. Mrs Chadler’s second plea was for the setting up of a greyhound national stud.

1968 Randy Singleton, trainer of Prince Philip’s English Derby winner Camira Flash is invited to Buckngham Palace for a reception. His is given a gift of silver cufflinks inscribed with the Duke Of Edinburgh’s crest. There is also a present for his head lad – a leather wallet embossed with the royal crest.

1984 Trainers championship final positions: George Curtis 330pts, Geoff De Mulder 126pts, Natalie Savva 112pts, Adam Jackson 99pts, Charlie Coyle 98pts, Derek Knight 89pts.

2000 Hull grader Cracked Boy has a race meeting in his honour when he is retired after a career spanning 245 races.

1979 Of the 12 major stages run in the month, four go to Mistley based Cambridge trainer Pat Mullins. He lands the Sheffield Puppy Cup with Dans Arrow, the British Breeders Championship with How Much and both the Rom-ford Puppy Cup and Sporting Life Juvenile with Sports Promoter. Still only 18 months old and whelped and reared by Pat and Linda, the brindle set a Cambridge 400 metre track record in the first race of his career the previous month.

1982 Ireland’s outstanding young open racer Game Ball is sold to British owner Brian Smith for £8,000 after an unbeaten run in the Alpha Abrasive Puppy Stake. He clocked 29.68, 29.60, 29.30 and 29.18 (TR 29.14) in the final. Interestingly, he is out of Stay In Business, a bitch who raced at Preston, NGRC and independent, for Walter Holloway from Kirkham.

1960 The Grand Champion is the leading open race sire of the year with 114 wins. In second place with 107 wins (though more prize money) is Champion Prince with Prince Of Bermuda in third.

1957 Elias Jolley, the 80 year old general manager of Nottingham White City stands trials for widespread rigging of tote odds between 1943 and 1956 and subsequently destroying evidence.

2010 Government minister Iain Duncan Smith threatens legal action against London & Quadrant, the owners of Walthamstow, after they accuse him of ‘bullying’ and abusing his position of authority. The company issue a full apology. It also claimed that police were taking action for disruption at a consultation meeting attended by SOS members.

1959 The Paget Challenge Plate, first presented by Major J B Paget in 1928 and reckoned to be the oldest trophy in the sport, is won by local Wembley open racer, Mighty Hassan.

1994 Perry Barr are fined £1,000 by the NGRC after admitting, during an inquiry into a positive test at the track, that racing kennels were regularly left unlocked at trial sessions. Two weeks later, the Club admit that they themselves did not carry out the correct procedures during sampling of Oaks finalists at Wimbledon.

2009 Despite weeks of misleading information from the promoters, Coventry shuts following its Boxing Day meeting with the promoters subsequently going into liquidation.

1967 The Romford Christmas Puppy Cup is confined to graded runners and the winning prizemoney reduced from £150 in 1966 to £35, all because of an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. All NGRC open races are also suspended. In the Romford final, S Basham’s Ring Rose (bd d Lovely Chieftan-Ballythomas Cross, Mar 66) trained by J Brown and evens favourite, wins the 460-yard race by half a length.

1978 Townview Man beats Yellow Band in a £5,000 a side match race over 700 yards at Dunmore. The match was instigated after Yellow Band had beaten Brendan Matthew’s dog in the Sean Graham 700.

1993 Manx Treasure, the previous year’s Irish Derby winner one of the country’s brightest young sires dies of cancer aged three and a half. Although only at stud for just over a year, he reached no.5 on the UK sires table. His progeny included Doyougetit (Reading Masters), Ballyduag Manx (Easter Cup), Courier Kid (Select Stakes) and top brood Droopys Fergie