Stories of our industry's people show love, hope and passion

GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov.

GRNSW Chief Executive Officer Tony Mestrov.

There was a wonderful story this week when young greyhound Elsie Bay won her first race at Grafton on Monday. Elsie Bay is a greyhound who was donated by her breeder and is owned - in proxy - by 10-year-old Bayley Atkins.

Bayley and her mother Kara were the only survivors of a tragic house fire in Singleton two years ago which claimed the lives of three of Bayley's siblings.

More than $300,000 was raised through a Go Fund Me campaign, and the greyhound racing community - Kara is the niece of Tamworth greyhound owner-trainer Tony Atkins - added more than $100,000 through auctions and donations.

A family affair

There were celebrations last week for one of our industry's long-time participants and her family as Joan Singline celebrated her 93rd birthday.

Joan, with her late husband George, has been part of the greyhound industry for more than 50 years, training their first big race winner back when Red Wool won the 1959 Hunter Valley Championship and also winning the 1979 Group 1 Vic Peters Classic with Scott Of Minmi

Greyhound racing became and is still a family affair for the Singlines. Daughters Lorraine Atchison, Noelene Holloway and Carole Eaton are all successful trainers, and their sisters Rhonda Thompson and Jenny Richards have also both been involved in the sport.

Noelene mentioned this week that her mum seldom gets to the track these days, but regularly watches her daughters' dogs race on Sky Racing.

Welcome to the caller's box

I mentioned in the column last week that the voice of greyhound racing in Sydney of the past seven years, Tim Newbold, had joined us at GRNSW in the role of Club Engagement officer, and it would be remiss of me not to welcome to the Wentworth Park caller's box, Matt Jackson.

A wonderful race caller with a vast array of experience, we are delighted as an industry to have Matt on board as the number one greyhound caller in NSW, and I look forward to hearing some of his calls throughout the rapidly approaching TAB Million Dollar Chase.

A long legacy

Condolences to the family and friends of Central Coast trainer John Heard who passed away this week after a long illness.

John spent more than five decades in the industry, training some very smart dogs.

He had a real knack with stayers, training the likes of General Brett, Pororoca and Forty Twenty.

John was also a handy rugby league player, spending a couple of seasons playing with South Sydney and competed as a professional runner in his younger days.

This article was produced as part of an ACM partnership with Greyhound Racing NSW.

This story Stories of our industry's people show love, hope and passion first appeared on Newcastle Herald.