The NSW GBOTA takes this opportunity to update members and participants on its position and actions taken regarding the current GRNSW race day hydration policy.

Directors have agreed at Board level that the NSW GBOTA would support a position of non-mandatory use of the dish and water in the kennels.  This position has been consistently put to GRNSW, both prior to the introduction of the policy and subsequent to its introduction

Directors formed their initial position, based on the limited data collection associated with the initial testing of the hydration policy in a test at The Gardens late last year. In short, the Association felt the Gardens test had not been of sufficient depth to test all issues, nor had there been any flow of results data that could reasonably reassure participants that the test had provided a sound base for a mandatory use policy roll out at all NSW TAB tracks.

Prior to the policy becoming mandatory, the NSW GBOTA presented key issues and concerns to GRNSW for its evaluation. Given the limited data collection and the fact that the initial test had involved just the one track, the NSW GBOTA proposed that any further testing at TAB tracks should be on a non-mandatory basis.

Since the mandatory introduction, NSW GBOTA has continued to listen to the widespread concerns of participants, expert industry veterinarians and the feedback of the operational staff at its tracks. As a result, a number of different issues and concerns have come to light that, at the very least, raise questions regarding the welfare and integrity risks connected with the policy.

The NSW GBOTA remains committed to the view that the provision of water in the kennels should be a discretionary choice, made by trainers in the interests of their particular greyhounds. NSW GBOTA chairman, Geoff Rose, said that the current mandatory process did not take into account behavioural variations between greyhounds and under-valued the skill of trainers to understand the hydration needs of their greyhounds.

“All greyhounds react differently to the kennelling experience, length of kennelling and there are further variations with regard to pre-race and post-race watering,” explained Rose.

“The industry approach to the race rehydration should have high regard for the important input that trainers bring to the table.

“A non-mandatory approach and continued collection of data would allow the regulator to work with trainers and build stronger data.”

NSW GBOTA will continue to advocate for a moderation of the race day rehydration policy, so as to make the procedure non-mandatory. It will also continue to encourage GRNSW to undertake public presentation of data and research that supports the initial and continued endorsement of the policy.

NSW GBOTA track managers will continue to collate information and to work with any GRNSW procedures that increases feedback opportunities and evaluationParticipants are able to notify the race day managers’ office at NSW GBOTA tracks with any general or specific issues with the policy so as to assist with this process. Participant’s details can be kept confidential if requested.