By Jordan Gerrans
It will be a big weekend of firsts for the greyhound industry at the Ipswich Show.
The Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club will run a Racing Greyhound Sweepstakes for the first time at the Ipswich Show, which runs from Friday until Sunday afternoon.
On top of the first Racing Greyhound Sweepstakes, the Greyhound Adoption Program in Queensland will also be on hand to showcase their key role within the industry.
The Ipswich Greyhound Sweepstakes will consist of 36 greyhounds, from as young as six months old up to 11 years of age, casually competing for trophies, sashes, and prize money, while also exposing the wonderful greyhounds and the responsible owners and trainers to the general public.
There will be categories for all types of dogs, young pups, race dogs, veterans, retired race greyhounds and everything in between.
“It is a big one, a first for Ipswich, being the first time we have ever had the Greyhound sweepstakes at the Ipswich show,” Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club Secretary Di O'Donnell said.
“We have done it for many, many years at the Ekka (pictured) but never at Ipswich before and we have had a really good response from trainers and owners.
“I do not think it was ever thought about doing the greyhound sweepstakes at the Ipswich show, but it was brought up at a committee meeting a while ago and now we have it.”
A considerable investment has been made by the Ipswich Club and Racing Queensland to make this a huge promotional event for our Racing Greyhounds possible, O'Donnell said.
The Racing Greyhound Sweepstakes is taking centre stage on the dais on Saturday at noon.
“Sweepstakes is virtually a beauty contest between the greyhounds, it is based on the confirmation of a dog more than anything else,” O'Donnell said.
“It is about nice looking dogs that are put together well.
“The judge we have got is very experienced with all breeds of dogs, but she is actually the vice president of Dogs Queensland, as well, she knows what she is doing after being there for a long time.”
As well as showing off the beauty of a greyhound, the Greyhound Adoption Program in Queensland will also have a site at the Ipswich Show across the three days.
The Greyhound Adoption Program is run by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission and is fully funded by the Queensland State Government.
The program is dedicated to finding homes for greyhounds that have retired from racing.
“This is the first time GAP will be associated with us here as well, being involved in the Ipswich show,” O’Donnell said.
“We have a three-day site, with GAP right next to us, so we are promoting the entire life of the greyhound.
“They do excellent work at GAP.”