After 16 years of being a professional trainer, I've decided to take a break from the sport, to spend more time with the my wife Aileen and 3 boys Shaun, Ciaran and Michael, All my boys play my other passion rugby union, with Shaun playing for Leicester Tigers academy and Ciaran Wasps, I will have a bit more time on my hands to watch them play, but will still be involved in helping run the boarding kennel and greyhound trust businesses we also have on site at West View Farm.
I've been involved with greyhounds most of my life, helping my late father Bob, racing dogs all over the flapping tracks in the Midlands, and then leaving School at 15 I went on to work for Bertie Gaynor, Bruce Jennings and Paddy Hancox , I then at 21 years old got out the game and worked for Cadburys.
When my local track Coventry Stadium re opened in 2004,and being away from the dogs for almost 10 years, I applied for a permit licence for a bit of fun,
Simon Harris the Coventry RM, talked me into going professional, which I took up, with the help of my former trainer Bruce Jennings who became my assistant, I spent 18 months at Coventry with tremendous success, then still a rookie in 2005 I applied for a lucrative job at Monmore Green, Jim Woods then RM and Richard Brankley GM, took a chance on me, giving me the job, beating 32 other applicants. The Stability of the job at Monmore really leapfrogged my career and I went from being a know one in the sport to challenging for all the major races all over the country.
After winning my first Cat 1, the Eclipse at Nottingham in 2007 with Rev Counter, my life just changed overnight. With my assistant trainer and best mate Paul Anderson, along with my other fantastic staff we went on a mission to reach the top, the rest is history, we went on for many years, week in, week out, taking on all the best trainers in the country, and winning many more Cat 1,2 & 3 races.
I've trained some fabulous dogs over the years, but the stand outs would have to be Ballymac Ace (reached 7 cat I finals, winning the Pall Mall & Yarmouth Derby) Drumcove Lad ( winner of Scurry Gold Cup, Sunderland Flyer, National sprint, 2011 sprinter of the year) and Exocet who won the Kent Derby, Sussex Cup and when winning the Night Of The Stars in Shelbourne Park, I became the first UK trainer to achieve this accolade.
Obviously winning the 2011 UK trainer of the year, and still the last trainer to beat the incredible Mark Wallis, will always be my highest achievement, which I'm very proud of, as no one can ever take this away from me!!
I would like to thank all my owners who over the years help me go to the very top of the sport, all my staff who work their socks off, through good and bad times and my wife Aileen who stood by me, whatever the result. Also, a massive thank you to all the staff at Monmore Green, especially RM Tony Williamson, GM Paul Mason, ex RM Jim Woods and ex GM Richard Brankley , who for the last 14 years have been a pleasure to work with.
Moving forward, another long time friend and current Assistant trainer Steve Masters will be taking over the reins at West View kennels, He will start training at Monmore Green from February next year, Steve has been in the dog game for many year's,he was head lad for Paddy Hancox back in the day, and then joined my team in 2011. After a recent short break, he is looking forward, on going alone and becoming a professional trainer, I wish him all the best of luck in the world and hope he can make it a success.
The cost of buying a greyhound varies in price and can be as little as £500 and can go up to £50,000 depending on class and their breeding.
Training costs here are £7.50 per day + vat to train a greyhound
The only extras on top of that are any vets fees that the greyhound has acquired + quarterly worming charge and yearly inoculation and if a bitch's season is suppressed if the owner agrees.
Graded race dogs will not be charged travel expenses going back and forth to the track, but Open Class greyhounds will be charged travel expenses and the charge will vary on what part of the country the greyhound is racing.
The GBGB will also charge a one off fee for registration, change of ownership or changing of a greyhounds name.
After the racing career of a greyhound is over the owner may take the greyhound home as a pet or the greyhound will be re homed by the Monmore Green Retired Greyhound Trust (£100 Fee).
Any further information give me a call on 07885. 632329