By Isaac Murphy
Pauline and her son Shane have ensured the Byers name still sits atop this year’s Ipswich premiership, after training seven winners this week.
Col Byers, wife to Pauline and father to Shane, passed away last September, however his legacy lives on through the mother and son combination.
Pauline and Shane Byers now form their own formidable team, Shane attributing the recent success to and injection of youth.
“Spring Cleo, Rock, Pirate, Curly and Halo are all from the same Fernando Bale/Derenger litter and have been really leading the charge along with Spring Paris who’s out of Barcia Bale and Spring Leaf,” he said.
“It’s been a real influx of young dogs all at the same time, you expect some of them to take a back seat but the last month they’ve all been going great.
“I think it’s inspired some of our older dogs to step up and show they’ve still got plenty left as well.”
Shane Byers had been learning from his dad since he was six-years-old, and said he and Pauline knew they had to make the most of their purple patch.
“We’re just trying to soak it up while it lasts, you have these runs where they can’t stop winning but it was only back in January and February when we were going through a bit of a rough trot,” Shane Byers said.
“Mum and I have been in the game long enough to know it’s not going to last forever, but it certainly makes it easier to get up and do the work with them in the morning.”
In a big kennel it’s hard to pick favourites but Shane Byers said it was hard to go past a leading trio that he was expecting to only get better in the coming months.
“I’d say Spring Rock would have to be the top dog in the kennel at the moment, ahead of Spring Halo and Spring Paris,” he said.
“Rock has won eight out of his last ten after a slow start to his career, he’s just learnt how to race with time.
“The surprise packet has been Spring Curly who was the slowest of the lot when we got them, and he came out and won in 25.13 the other day.
“It’s one thing to have a dog who can run and another to have a dog who can win and those I’ve mentioned have figured out how to be a race dog and usually that just takes perseverance and time.”
Shane Byers was quick to point out it wasn’t just himself and Pauline who were responsible for the winners, one of Col’s long-standing relationships with his owners is still paying dividends.
“We put the polish on them here at home, but all the credit has to go to Scott Board and the Board Syndicate in South Australia who own the majority of our dogs,” he said.
“They get sent to Scott who breaks them in and sends them to us ready to race.
“The relationship with Scott started when a local trainer Dallas Beckett was buying dogs off him years ago and Dad and Scott somehow got talking and have been working together ever since.
“After Dad passed, Scott told me that he considered Dad one of his best mates and they’d never even met in person.
“Scott lived in Orange and it was just their common passion for greyhounds that made them such close mates.”
Shane said his Dad had found a winning recipe, and he and Pauline will continue to uphold the tried and tested methods.
“We haven’t changed much, we’re just doing what Dad would have done with them,” he said.
“We’ve both been by his side for forty years watching him train and simply picked up where he left off.
“I grew up as a kid around greyhounds helping out where I could and Mum’s always been there right beside him all the way, so even though he’s not here anymore there was no question in picking up the slack.”
Shane said he cherished the time he had with his Dad before his passing and was rock solid on continuing his legacy.
“Dad had been limited in what he could do with the dogs for some time before he passed, the last fifteen months I’ve been really hands-on and was more than happy to let him bark the orders,” he laughed.
“While it’s a shame we didn’t get to do it together a bit longer, he taught me everything I know and I’m glad what I’m doing is working.
“I’m definitely proud, along with mum, to keep the Byers name winning races.”