Greyhound Racing, Manchester, United Kingdom




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Published on Dec 31, 2012

Greyhound Racing at Belle Vue Stadium, Manchester, UK, (29th December 2012). Check out this Youtube channel too: http://www.youtube.com/jonbrookscomposer

The very first race around an oval track in Britain was held on 24 July 1926. It is also used for speedway as the home ground of Elite League team Belle Vue Aces since 1988 and since 1999 has British Stock Car Association (BriSCA), the British governing body for stock car racing and banger racing. The stadium holds a number of BriSCA events and has become one of the most popular venues in the North-West of England.

The track has always been the property of Greyhound Racing Association Ltd. (GRA), which has invested heavily in it right through to the current day. The stadium offers luxury glass-fronted grandstands, restaurant, hospitality boxes, and several bars. Greyhound racing takes place on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

In 1925 Charles A. Munn, an American businessman, made a deal with Smith and Sawyer for the rights to promote the greyhound racing in Britain. Although the earlier attempt to introduce mechanical racing at Hendon had almost been forgotten, the pastime of coursing was as strong as ever in Britain. Fortunately for Munn, the first person he contacted with regards to reintroducing greyhound racing into Britain was Major L. Lyne Dixson. The Major was a leading figure in British field sports and was quickly won over to the idea presented to him by the American entrepreneur.

Finding other supporters proved to rather difficult however. With the General Strike of 1926 looming, the two men scoured the country in an attempt to find others who would join them. Eventually they met Brigadier-General Alfred Critchley, who in turn introduced them to Sir William Gentle JP. Between them they raised £22,000 and formed the Greyhound Racing Association Ltd.

Six races with seven dogs in each race were held in the first meeting. Fifty years later a stand was named after Mistley, the winner of the first race. Running the quarter-mile flat course in 25 seconds, Mistley romped home eight lengths clear at 6--1.
Belle Vue increased the number of runners per race to seven, but after the formation of the NGRC in 1928 the maximum number of dogs per race was limited to six.

The Greyhound is a breed of sighthound that has been primarily bred for coursing game and racing, which has also recently seen a resurgence in its popularity as a pedigree show dog and family pet.

Greyhounds as Pets:
Greyhound owners and adoption groups consider Greyhounds to be wonderful pets. Greyhounds are quiet, gentle, and loyal to owners. They are very loving creatures, and they enjoy the company of their humans and other dogs. Whether a Greyhound enjoys the company of other small animals or cats depends on the individual dog's personality. Greyhounds will typically chase small animals; those lacking a high 'prey drive' will be able to coexist happily with toy dog breeds and/or cats. Many owners describe their Greyhounds (a retired racing dog) as "45 mile per hour couch potatoes".

Greyhounds live most happily as pets in quiet environments. They do well in families with children as long as the children are taught to treat the dog properly and with politeness and appropriate respect. Greyhounds have a sensitive nature, and gentle commands work best as training methods. They are pack-oriented dogs, which means that they will quickly adopt humans into their pack as alpha. Greyhounds occasionally develop separation anxiety when re-housed or when their owners have to leave them alone for a period of time. The addition of a second Greyhound often solves this problem.

A very common misconception regarding Greyhounds is that they are hyperactive. In retired racing Greyhounds, this is usually not the case.[14] Greyhounds can live comfortably as apartment dogs, as they do not require much space and sleep close to 18 hours per day. In fact, due to their calm temperament, Greyhounds can make better "apartment dogs" than smaller, more active breeds.

This is due to their prey-drive, their speed, and the assertion that Greyhounds have no road sense. However, a good run at least once a week is important, especially for younger greyhounds, and suitable areas can usually be found. Due to their size and strength, adoption groups recommend that fences be between 4 and 6 feet, to prevent them from jumping out. Two online databases are available to search for all past and present registered purebred Greyhounds: Greyhound-Data.com and Rosnet2000.com Dogs can be searched by their Bertillon number, race name, or other attributes. Data includes photos, race statistics, and pedigree.


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