BAGS PRESS RELEASE
BAGS is pleased to announce the latest allocation of streaming funds payable to tracks totalling £470,000 which is being ploughed back into prize money and welfare projects by the tracks.
These funds have been generated through the streaming of live BAGS racing in April, May and June this year, following the launch of the streaming service back in October 2015, bringing the total paid out in streaming revenue so far to £1.2 million. BAGS estimates that from the announcements made after the last payment the tracks have committed about 50 per cent of this to go directly into prize money and welfare.
One track making full use of this new source of revenue is Kinsley who have made it their mission to provide a home for every dog that finishes racing at the West Yorkshire circuit.
Kinsley Owners and Trainers Association (KOATA) are already on track to finding homes for 135 greyhounds this year (projected figure for 2016, 113 currently rehomed) thanks to money made available from streaming, along with the help of several rehoming charities. These include the Humber, West Yorkshire and Mersey and Cheshire branches of the Retired Greyhound Trust, Greenfields Greyhound Rescue in Stoke and Makants Greyhound Rescue in Manchester.
It costs £350 on average to rehome a greyhound after it has finished racing at Kinsley, £120 of which is paid by the owner or the trainer towards the cost, the rest is met by Kinsley Stadium and comes directly from the streaming funding paid to them by BAGS. Each greyhound is neutered or spayed, and receives a full MOT from the vet, including dental treatment, and the next three months of inoculations. Every dog leaves for the rehoming centre with a new lead, a muzzle, winter and walking out coats, all of which the track provides.
Kinsley trainer Mark Siddall, chair of Kinsley Owners and Trainers Association said: “Effectively this is made possible thanks to the streaming funding. All in all it is one big team effort, right from the dog leaving the trainer, through to the greyhound readjusting to family life at a holding kennels, before finally going on to one of the charities to be rehomed. It’s a process that is clearly working and the amount of dogs rehomed this year only goes to show just what can be done.”
Along with his son Tommy, and his partner Abby Green, Mark also helps prepare ex-racers to tackle any anxiety they might have, and readjust, before they leave for the rehoming centres.
There is a full audit trail of all greyhounds leaving Kinsley, from a monthly report, inoculation and vets reports, right through to the GBGB’s green form. Each greyhound leaving Kinsley is logged in a book which is kept in the racing office.
Claire Yapp and Phil Scaiffe of the Humber branch of the RGT work hand in hand with KOATA and have up to 20 greyhounds for rehoming at any given time, and all greyhounds in their care receive plenty of one-to-one attention.
She said: “We have had a good year finding homes and the condition of the dogs we receive from Kinsley is excellent. Especially their dental health which can be a huge problem in greyhounds. It is our job then to find the right family for the right dog, they really do make the best pets ever.”
Thanks to the additional streaming funding, Kinsley Stadium has purchased a hydrotherapy pool for Humber RGT which injured dogs greatly benefit from after they retire. This also puts an end to a 30-mile round trip for Claire and Phil to reach the nearest centre. It is envisaged that other rehoming centres along with trainers will be able to make use of this facility for a small fee.
Kinsley trainer Mike Dagley is another who has first-hand experience of the effect the new streaming revenue can have. His greyhound Fun Guy had to retire from racing following a career-ending wrist injury, but there were significant complications with continual blood clotting following surgery. Without the right medication to combat this, Fun Guy would not have survived, but the cost of treating him was beyond Mike’s financial reach.Thanks to the funding, money was readily made available and Fun Guy is now enjoying full health at home and takes pride of place on Mike’s sofa.
Another ex-Kinsley racer Harry The Hunter suffered a potentially life threatening injury, a multiple fractured hock. Following a series of x-rays the vet advised that the dog would need his leg pinned to give him any possible chance. His owner was unable to cover the £1,000 cost, but thanks to the streaming funding the operation was carried out and Harry has now made a full recovery and has successfully been rehomed.
Kinsley Owners and Trainers Association remain proactive in homing retired racers, ensuring that every dog is suitable for homing into a family environment at the end of their careers. Margaret Gray is the mastermind behind any additional fundraising at the track and has been for the last 13 years. She is now gearing up for KOATA’s annual event which takes place every December.
Dominic Ford, chairman of BAGS said: “This demonstrates again the success that BAGS has had in developing this new online revenue source for the Greyhound Racing product.
“It also shows that on an annualised basis the Bookmakers are paying an additional £2 million to the Greyhound industry.
“Kinsley is a wonderful example of why BAGS has shown it’s faith in the BAGS Greyhound Tracks by passing this new revenue source directly to the tracks. This demonstrates that tracks are able to allocate the funds in an appropriate manner in order to satisfy the welfare requirements.”