Racing Queensland has bolstered the prize money across all categories for racing greyhounds on show at the Ekka and, for the first time, exhibitors will be paid an appearance fee for every entry.
The racing greyhounds at the Royal Queensland Show compete in the Ekka Sweepstakes, with the winner of each category receiving between $200 and $500 with their blue ribbon.
Overall, the total prize money has been increased by more than 30 per cent, with the contest returning for the first time since 2019 after the Ekka had been cancelled because of the COVID pandemic.
On average, between 40 to 50 racing greyhounds vie for best on show, although more entries are expected this year following the introduction of a $100 appearance fee, said Racing Queensland’s event organiser Nicola Hardman.
Judging will take place on Sunday, August 7, and the public is encouraged to walk through the pavilion to inspect and acquaint themselves with owners, handlers and greyhounds, she said.
“On the day, the public will be able to pat and interact with these greyhounds, under the watchful eye of their loving owners,” Ms Hardman said.
“The greyhounds come from all stages of their careers, from puppy to retired veteran, showing their beautiful nature to the patrons of the Ekka.”
The Ekka Sweepstakes is the chance for owners, breeders and handlers of pre-racing, racing and post-racing greyhounds to put their purebreds on display,” said Racing Queensland’s Senior Racing manager Brenton Scott.
It’s a chance to break down the barriers and exhibit racing greyhounds as a pet and wonderful breed, he said.
“It’s an opportunity to showcase the breed in another forum.
“The Stockman’s Rest is the perfect area to showcase the breed and is a great magnet for the public, and it makes sure greyhounds are part of the Ekka fun and attractions.”
The Ekka opens on August 6 and the annual Sweeptakes event allows participants and greyhound lovers to show their canine athletes away from the racetrack, Ms Hardman said.
This year, greyhounds will be stationed and judged at Stockman’s Rest, an open-air show ring and a perfect location to attract a crowd as these wonderful athletes are judged on their appearance, build and formation.
“An experienced judge with knowledge of racing greyhounds will adjudicate,” Ms Hardman said.
There are six classes overall, with five of them divided into bitch and dog categories.
The winner of each class will receive a $200 cheque, with cash prizes paid down to fifth place ($40).
There are four champion categories with a top prize of $500 for the winner of Best Breed, $400 for Best Dog and Best Bitch and $300 for Best of Breed neutered.
Rounding out the awards, a trophy, sash, certificate and $50 prizemoney for best Junior Handler (under 16).
To enter, click here. The last day to enter is Friday, 8 July.