Updated imagery from October 2023 shows changes to the geometry of the famously tight bends at Valley have been minimal.
With the return of commercial greyhound racing at The Valley, Ystrad Mynach, on Friday 3 November 2023, welfare organisations are renewing calls for greater scrutiny over the sudden increase in racing that is taking place.
One dog, ON THE SOD, fell on the second corner in the very first (11.37am) race of the day. This is the same corner KNOW THE DANGER fell at on the 22 August 2023. Racing continued with multiple dogs bumping and colliding with each other throughout the meeting. One dog was bumped and run off the track in the 1.37pm sprint before appearing to limp home. The traps then failed to operate, with the dogs inside at the start of the following 1.53pm race. The dogs then had to be removed before the race was rerun sometime later.
Greyhound Rescue Wales are also concerned about the welfare of KANSAS CITY LIFE, listed as weighing 32.8Kg when sold at Sales Trials at the Valley on the 22 August 2023 (although this weight may not be accurate as they were weighed at 29.1kg in Ireland on the 11 August 2023.) When trialled again on the 28th October KANSAS CITY LIFE‘s weight was down to 26.2Kg and 6 days later when raced at the Valley her weight had dropped to just 25.6kg. This is a significant amount of weight for a greyhound to lose in such a short space of time.
Despite these issues, the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) claimed: “The track is in superb condition and the new owners have completed a lot of safety work – Friday’s card was completed without incident.”
The Valley track is now owned by Dave Barclay of Harlow Greyhound Stadium. His son Lee Barclay is now a GBGB-licensed Local Steward, Judge, Timekeeper, Paddock Steward, Hare Controller and Starter at the Valley track. KANSAS CITY LIFE‘s owner is listed as Mrs J Barclay.
Two further meetings have now been confirmed for the 10th and 17th November. Sports Information Service (SIS), which broadcasts UK, Irish and Mexican greyhound races to the betting industry worldwide have announced they will be covering racing at the Valley on Tuesday afternoons and Sunday mornings throughout 2024. GBGB claims that greyhound racing at the Welsh track provides “a centre of community and a much-loved pastime”. In reality they provide a product for the global gambling industry, running greyhounds in mostly empty venues to be live-streamed to betting shops.
With a Welsh Government consultation covering the future of greyhound racing expected in the coming weeks, Greyhound Rescue Wales and our partner charities will continue to closely monitor events at The Valley and ensure that they are subject to public scrutiny. We will also continue to provide veterinary treatment and rehome any dogs surrendered to us from the track.