Henlow Dogs Host Race Meetings Every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday Evenings.
Dog Racing – One of The Unique Experiences the UK Has To Offer
Most people would likely be familiar with the concept of horse racing, but how many can say they’ve attended dog racing competitions? Outside the UK, this sport has a limited popularity, but here it has its regulars and avid supporters. But how did this sport come to be?
The origins of dog racing can be traced to the hunting practice of coursing. Coursing used to be comprised of a pack of dogs chasing after a small game animal, like a hare or a rabbit. Organized coursing can be traced back as far as the 1770s, when the first official meet was held in Norfolk, England.
Modern day dog racing has evolved a long way from coursing, and is said to have emerged in 1919 in Emeryville, California, where Owen Patrick Smith held the first professional dog race.Soon enough, the practice was exported to Britain and in 1926 a race was held in front of nearly 2000 people in the Belle Vue stadium, in Manchester. Instead of a hare, an artificial lure was used to keep the dogs running. This gave rise to the start of the Greyhound Racing Association, which still operates today.
Greyhound Board of Great Britain
Nowadays, dog racing is governed officially by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain or GRGB for short. There are 25 official stadiums that host the dog races. Some of them are located in populous areas, while others are rather remote. The GRGB has reported to operate with a total staff of nearly 4100 kennel staff members, with an approximate 10,000 contestant dogs annually. As you can see from the stats, dog racing in the UK is a big thing.
Betting – Taking a Punt
Betting in dog races is done on the tote principle, or Parimutuel principle. The basics difference between it and other ways of betting is that the amount of winnings is not known until the betting finishes. The winnings are calculated after a pool of wagers has been established. This system is also popular in horse racing and totalizator lotteries, hence the term “tote”.
Placing a bet can be difficult for beginners, because it’s hard to pick a dog without any previous information. That’s why it’s a good idea to check online for the track record of a certain dog before placing a bet. A variety of statistics on a particular dog’s form is available online, and one could always watch some greyhound races on TV in order to get familiar with the terms used.
A lot of animal rights activists regularly show concern about the well-being of the dogs used in greyhound races. However, due to the strict regulations imposed by the GRGB, owners and trainers who violate the animals’ rights are penalised. Drug use on dogs has almost been abolished in official races, and the dogs are retired when they can no longer compete. They’re usually adopted by willing foster families. The few that remain (not adopted) are given to the Universities in the UK for research purposes.
Attending a greyhound race can be a good day out, and it’s an interesting activity for those who haven’t tried it yet. Placing a small bet can also make it very thrilling, making your heart accelerate during the race as you will your dog to the finishing post. If you travell to the circuit as a group consider booking 7 plus as your travel supplier and we will provide first class minibus travel to Henlow Dog Racing stadium or any other within a 40 mile radius.