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10 Facts about Greyhound Racing

10 Facts about Greyhound Racing

10 Facts you never knew!

1. Over 90 years of racing in Ireland

Greyhound Racing as we know it today arrived to our shores in 1927. Shelbourne Park hosted the first racing in the Republic of Ireland on 14th May 1927. 

It was such an important event at the time that British Pathé News even broadcast about it - check out the footage below. 

2. Greyhounds make great pets too

Greyhounds may be super speedy on the track but did you know that they're also affectionately known as 40mph couch potatoes? They love to laze about (a comfy couch is a favourite spot) and make great pets for families of all ages. 

They also love other dogs and cats and need very little exercising. 

When they're not running (in short bursts of speed) greyhounds love to laze about on the couch - they're 45mph couch potatoes

3. More colours than a rainbow

There are about 30 recognised colour forms to be found in Greyhounds. These can appear uniquely (such as all fawn or all black in colour) or in combination (like brindle). 

4. Millions spent on regulating our industry

Greyhound Racing Ireland spends €2 million a year on Regulation and Welfare.

Find out more about the regulation of our industry here

5. The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust 

The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust is celebrating 21 years in 2018

The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) was established by the GRI in 1997 and celebrated 21 years in 2018. The charity (Charity Number: 20034849) is jointly funded together with contributions from greyhound owners through race winnings. They work to rehome greyhounds after retirement and promotion of greyhounds as domestic pets. 

Many retired Greyhounds are rehomed throughout Ireland, Europe and North America through charities supported by the IRGT. 

6. Most Regulated Breed in Ireland

Greyhounds are the most regulated of all canine breeds in Ireland. They're the only breed with their own legislation - the Welfare of Greyhounds Act 2011. 

7. Faster than an Olympian

A Greyhound can reach full speed of 43mph within six strides of leaving traps - that's faster than Usain Bolt's top speed of 27mph!

Greyhounds can reach a fast speed in just seconds - as you can see in this picture as they blur past the camera

8. Best in Show

In 1928, the very first winner of Best in Show at the world-famous Crufts Dog Show was none other than a Greyhound; Primley Sceptre, owned by H. Whitely. 

9. A biblical figure

The Greyhound is the only dog mentioned by name in the Bible. 

The ancestors of the modern Greyhound were also an important figure in Ancient Eygptian, Greek and Roman times. Many Egyptians considered the birth of a such a hound second in importance only to the birth of a son. When the pet hound died, the entire family would go into mourning.

10. A part of Irish Life

The Greyhound is such a part of Irish life that it was even featured on the old Irish currency. 

The old Irish Sixpence featured a Greyhound standing tall and proud. There was also a commemorative stamp issued by An Post in 1977 to  mark 50 years of racing. 

The Greyhound is such an integral part of Irish life that it's featured on stamps and coins