Rules

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Greyhound Starting Boxes

Greyhound racing is part of a huge betting industry. Wherever money is involved, stringent rules and regulations are also present. With greyhound racing being an official sport, the governing bodies make sure that dogs are being treated with utmost care, and compete in the spirit of fair play.

Geographically and historically greyhound racing has evolved in English speaking nations. It was first established as a sport in England, but was enjoyed only by select number of people as Forest Laws allowed only nobleman to hunt with greyhounds.

In the United States it began at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1919, when Owen Patrick Smith organized first race meeting in California. This gentleman is widely regarded as the founder of modern greyhound racing. He invented the revolutionary mechanical lure, which is an artificial rabbit that traverses a circular or oval track.

Today the majority of betting action on greyhound racing occurs in UK. There are daily meetings featuring hundreds of dogs across the country. Before the racing begins, the greyhounds are placed in a paddock. They are assessed and tested for any illnesses, infections or drug abuse.

After being declared fit to race, they are than placed in individual traps. The race starts and the greyhounds have to chase an artificial lure that is placed at least 10 meters ahead of the starting trap. The greyhound that arrives first at the finish line wins the race.

Greyhounds under the age of 15 months are not eligible to run in any race or initial trial. The length of the dogs’ name must not include more than 16 letters. Before being accepted to the official graded races, all the greyhounds must complete at least three trials.

Race and Track

Greyhounds run over a distance of not less than 210 meters and not more than 1105 meters. Different categories of races exist including open races, graded races, intertrack races and handicap races. The greyhound race track consists of an oval or circular dirt track fenced in on the outside and a railing running along the inside.

The mechanical lure is located on the green belt adjacent to the dirt track. The track has a couple of cubicles right on the starting line, also named “crates”. These boxes host the dogs just before the race. The dogs were jackets numbered in contrast to specific colors.

Track dimension vary from one track to another. No specifics dimensions exist overall, but the approximate lengths and widths are as follows:

Greyhound Race Track

The dogs are chasing the lure in front of a packed venue.

Track width – 8 meters.

Track length:

1. Basic lengths: 275, 325, 480 and 515 meters

2. 2 bends (D or sprint races): As low as 400 meters

3. 3 bends: 4805 meters

4. 4 bend racing (A or Middle distance races): up to 515 meters

5. 6 bend races (S or Stayer races): up to 545 meters

6. 8 bend races (E Marathon Races): Up to 550 meters

Greyhounds’ training rules

In the first three months puppies are whelped, vaccinated and are not moved from the propriety from where they were whelped. Between the fourth and sixth month puppies are ear-branded for verification reasons. At this stage puppies are reared and taught to wear a collar. They are kept in open paddocks, which allow them to run and learn to gallop.

Starting from the seventh month up until the one year mark puppies are placed on a diet and perform various exercises until they become fit to be trained specifically for the race track. This period in greyhounds’ life is also called “breaking in”.

The dogs are trained to be placed in boxes and run with other greyhounds. After reaching the 16 month milestone, the owner is allowed to name and register his/her dog for racing. Usually, greyhounds are capable of racing on the highest level up to four years, after which they are either retired or used for breeding purposes.