The Irish Greyhound Board has confirmed that a planned increase in prize money through an equivalent of a 25 percent increase in ordinary race grants will take effect from 1 October 2017.
The decision to increase money circulating through the sport was made possible through the sale of Harold’s Cross Stadium which will clear the organisation’s legacy debt and facilitate scope for re-investment into the industry.
It will be a long road back with the closure having been bitterly opposed in the first half of this year and no racing taking place at Shelbourne Park as Owners in the sport boycotted the track in a deeply damaging standoff.
Time is a great healer though and the very real benefit of such a significant rise in prizemoney, coming the week before the biggest night of the sport’s year with the Boylesports Irish Greyhound Derby Final on Saturday, is a welcome boost.
“This increase in prize money which works out at an additional investment of €1.2m, will provide for an overall annual prize money total of over €9 million,” said Irish Greyhound Board Chairman Phil Meaney.
“I am delighted to see this further support to owners, breeders and trainers which will further sustain the greyhound sector.”
“Today’s announcement will also further support the rehoming of retired greyhounds as a percentage of prize money matched by IGB is assigned to the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT). In recent years, the number of rehomed greyhounds through the IRGT and supported rehoming agencies has increased from 614 in 2014 to 891 in 2016.”
Saturday’s final will be shown live on RTÉ on Saturday night and was teed up with a special lunch for connections at Shelbourne Park earlier this week.
The Irish Greyhound Board are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.
Image Credits Inpho Ryan Byrne