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Rockhampton greyhound industry thriving following track improvements

whata-nice-size1-rocky-cup-2015-web.jpgBy Jordan Gerrans

Members of Rob Weeding’s family were founders of the Rockhampton Greyhound Racing club and the trainer cannot remember the industry being as vibrant as it is in 2021.

Strong field numbers, expanding training ranks and a new and improved track and racing surface in Central Queensland – local participants believe the code is on the rise in the Beef Capital of Australia.

Weeding, who trains a team of four dogs in Rockhampton, was first introduced to greyhounds decades ago by his uncle and aunty, Carol and Albert Harker, who were founding members of the club.

The family have been in the game ever since and Weeding says the industry is thriving in Rockhampton.

“I think it is fantastic that the efforts Racing Queensland and the club are making to upgrade the track,” Weeding said.

“The money they have put in to upgrade it, on top of the efforts to promote the racing in Rockhampton.

“We need more younger people coming through, it is a great place to race here.

“We can see a major difference from prior to what we have now following the upgrades, watching the lure go around, it is a really good quality build that has happened here and it is great for the dogs, as well.”

8f0c4ec4-f00c-479f-8653-fbc7e88d1da4.jpgAccording to Racing Queensland’s Senior Racing Manager for Greyhound’s Brenton Scott, Rockhampton is a club that has gone ahead in leaps and bounds over the last three years and he believes it will just continue to improve.

“They are a really progressive club and they are led by a hard-working committee and as a club they are well managed,” Scott said.

“The local fraternity have really got behind the industry as the prize money has substantially increased over the last three years.

“It is a go-ahead club with a big future ahead of them.”

Rockhampton trainer Dallas Beckett, who also doubles as the club’s Treasurer, detailed the impressive redevelopments that have been unveiled at their Callaghan Park-based track recently.

“We have had to get a new running rail…we have a nice consistent running rail that is much easier for the lure driver,” Beckett said.

“This new one should last another 20-25 years.

“We also now have full padding around the catching pen, inside of it, which is a really good bonus for the dogs, the more we can do to help them as they go around the track – the better.”



Rockhampton | Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club | 6:55 PM


Twelve-Plus-Two-Rockhampton.jpgThere are further works in the pipeline for Rockhampton, according to Scott.

“The work that was undertaken there meant that the rail that was 30-40 years of age has been completely replaced and the track has been renovated and has been consolidated into a really nice surface now,” Scott said.

“Importantly, the next phase will be a construction of a new viewing and judging tower and that will allow for a repositioning of the camera, at the current time Rockhampton has a less that direct camera vision and this will allow for something that is much better.

“Those works are planned over the next six weeks and it will be impressive once it is finished by hopefully by August or September.”

A stalwart of the code in Central Queensland, Beckett cannot remember another time when the sport was as strong as it is now, particularly focusing on the key animal welfare element for their beloved animals.

“We are going really well, we had a few hiccups a few years ago but that has all been turned around now,” Beckett said.

“We are going really well; we are financial as a club and Racing Queensland have been really good and listened to us a club and the things we have asked for.

“They have really come to the party with that and also around animal welfare, that is miles above where we used to be, now that we have our own animal ambulance.

“Naturally, animal welfare is one of our highest priorities as natural we love our dogs.”

31275d8a-6b32-424a-8745-698a8be64f1e.jpgBeckett trains a small team of dogs in Rockhampton in 2021, focusing his attention on young greyhounds and breeding.

The club’s Treasurer thinks as the greyhound numbers in Rockhampton are ever growing, they could accommodate as much as two extra races every meeting and is exploring the concept of expanding kennel space in the near future, so they can house more dogs and therefore race more often.

While Weeding’s extended family were founding members of the club, he did not get into training until around a decade ago.

With his father and brother, Weeding purchased one dog and his fascination for greyhounds has just grown ever since.  

“We fell in love with it from there,” he said.

“We started off with one then I got a bigger property and I have got four at the moment.

“We love the dogs here.

“We have just followed on from there, we just love the dogs.”




Rockhampton | Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club | 7:15 PM