“It was bloody brilliant. Easily the best thing we have ever done.”

Despite resigning as a Greyhound Ambassador, Carly Philpott joined former colleagues Lorraine Sams and Gail May, plus four ex-racers for a special ‘meet and greet’ at Cheltenham Racecourse.

Carly said: “We arrived at 11.30am and found that Cheltenham had given us an absolute perfect plot, right next to the shopping village. From the moment we arrived, until we left after the last race, we were bombarded with people coming to talk to us and meet the dogs.

“Although we are associated with retired dogs, I have always loved the idea of promoting the sport in general and it couldn’t have gone better. There were hundred of people including quite a few celebrities who came for a chat. Everyone was so welcoming.

“We had existing greyhound owners come and see us, and former owners who had lapsed and were thinking about getting involved again.

Lorraine Sams making friends and influencing people

“There were others who said they were thinking about taking on an ex-racer including several Irish racegoers.

“Of the four dogs we took, Lorraine’s two are pretty much ‘professional meet-and-greeters’, but Gail’s dog hasn’t been with her long and we also had an ex-racer of Kevin Hutton’s who has only just retired.

“They were all on their best behaviour but she particularly impressed everyone. The visitors couldn’t believe she was so comfortable in that environment so soon after being retired.

“There are so many people to thank, starting with Ian Renton, the regional director for Cheltenham and the South West at the Jockey Club.

“Also, Andre Klein, the General Manager at Warwick Racecourse who is also the Community Eengagement Manager at Cheltenham Racecourse.

“Andre couldn’t do enough for us. He really engaged in what we were doing and invited us to a special ‘doggie day’ which they hold at Warwick in March, when lots of people bring their pets along.

“Last but not least, Tanya Stevenson who I believe promoted us on TV and Ben Keith who made all the introductions at Cheltenham and without whom it would never have happened.

“I don’t know about the other ladies, but by the time we left last night, I was absolutely shattered but still buzzing. It really was a day to remember.

“Hopefully, our story will encourage other greyhound enthusiasts to promote racing and retirement by doing the sort of things that we do.”