Coursing lovers can feel a sense of excitement after the historic code received the green light to go ahead in 2020.
A new-look coursing season is set to begin on Sunday 31 May with the introduction of new race-day protocols, with details around the first four meetings of the season locked and loaded.
Following a delayed start because of restrictions around COVID-19, the season will kick off at Lang Lang, before the action moves to Longwood for three consecutive meetings.
NCA Secretary Sean Lithgow said the new protocols relate to social distancing and effectively mirror those employed at TAB tracks around the state, with minor variations.
“The new rules are quite strict, but they are necessary to ensure coursing events can proceed. The protocols may be relaxed in the future but at this stage this is what we must adhere to for the safety of the greyhound community,” Lithgow said.
“Entry into our coursing meetings will only be open to licensed people, which means we all have to help each other more than ever on race day.”
The finer details of several other coursing events to be run this year are still to be finalised, however the NCA has committed to staging its final event of the season – the Waterloo Cup Final – at Lang Lang on 30 August.
Victorian coursing: Race-day protocols
- Attendance restricted to trainers with runners engaged (or a rep), catchers, accredited media and essential staff, officials and management – No children; unless engaged as a catcher. (Attendees must be licensed persons)
- If rooms required, social distancing room capacities to be adhered to as 4m2 per person.
- Stewards and club staff to manage marshalling procedures to ensure social distancing is maximised.
- All people entering the track on race day will be subject to health checks including temperature testing, with people reading a high temperature not admitted to the track.
- Participants are expected to maintain social distancing and not congregate. If they remain in the area surrounding their vehicle/trailer while not actively involved or watching courses this will be achieved.
- The marshalling area which is already an outdoor area will be significantly increased in size to enable the required social distancing.
- Only one event will be called up at a time rather than the standard two to minimise numbers of dogs and handlers in the now larger marshalling area.
- The process of bringing dogs up to the slips will be changed to ensure only one greyhound is bought up at a time. Red collar will always be brought up on the left side of the slipper and once secured, the white collar will be brought up on the right side and secured.
Bar, kitchen & function rooms
- As per licensed venue regulations, all bar and food facilities are closed.
- Participants are required to vacate the venue once their greyhound/s have finished competing for the day.
2020 COURSING SEASON – FIRST FOUR MEETINGS
SUNDAY 31 MAY – LANG LANG
Standard Meeting (Preference to Puppies)
SUNDAY 14 JUNE – LONGWOOD
Victorian Derby and Victorian Oaks (Week 1);
Bert Clark Memorial;
SUNDAY 21 JUNE – LONGWOOD
Victorian Derby and Victorian Oaks (Week 2);
JN Smith Memorial;
SUNDAY 5 JULY – LONGWOOD
Slips to Boxes – Longwood to Shepparton
WATCH: The 2019 Waterloo Cup Final, won by ASTON BINTANG (white collar) over VITAL FORCE (red collar) at Longwood.