Boycott hurts dog clubs
The Otago Greyhound Racing Club has been forced to abandon its meeting at Forbury Park on Tuesday.
It did not receive enough entries when nominations closed yesterday. Club secretary John Carlyle said the 48 greyhounds entered would have filled five race fields.
A large group of Canterbury trainers are boycotting meetings of the Southland and Otago Greyhound Racing Clubs until they change their race-field selection policy.
The two clubs race mostly on Tuesdays. Greyhounds nominated solely for those meetings will be considered first for field selection before greyhounds that raced at Addington the previous Thursday or Friday, regardless of form.
The Christchurch Greyhound Racing Club select greyhounds with the best form to fill its fields.
One of the boycott organisers, trainer Craig Roberts, of Christchurch, said Canterbury trainers had been trying for 15 months to convince the Southland and Otago clubs to change their policy, which was introduced in the 2010-11 season.
''They can't dictate to trainers when and where they can race. It's discrimination and morally wrong,'' Roberts said.
He is not happy about next week's meeting being called off.
''It's disappointing it's come to this, but they left us no option.''
Most of the South Island's greyhounds are trained in Canterbury.
Southland and Otago club officials sent a joint email to boycott organisers yesterday requesting a meeting as soon as possible to resolve the situation.
''We need to talk to the clubs and thrash it out, find a fair and equal method of selecting fields,'' Roberts said.
''We welcome the invitation.
''I've got no animosity towards the people down there.''
- © Fairfax NZ News