When does a greyhound’s death not count as a “track death”? When the race is over, according to the greyhound racing industry. Or when a greyhound slams into the rail on a turn.
In May, FIVE greyhounds collapsed and DIED in the catching pen following their races. Despite all five being sent for autopsy, will the public ever find out the circumstances behind their deaths? Will toxicology reports be issued? On top of these tragic deaths, a further six greyhounds fell, were injured and then killed shortly after by the on-track vets in May.
NSW tracks killed seven greyhounds, Victorian tracks killed two and Queensland and Western Australia each claimed a life.
The first turn, again, proved lethal for greyhounds in May. The career of Zipping Moscow, running in his first and last race at Goulburn NSW lasted a few seconds. On 5 May he collided with another runner and fell, fracturing his radius and ulna. He “failed to finish” and was killed by the on-track vet. At 22 months, Zipping Moscow was the youngest greyhound to be killed in May.
The next day in Tamworth NSW, following “The Muzzle Appreciation” race, Dusty Armatree went into cardiovascular shock and collapsed in the catching pen. The on-track vet decided to euthanise him. Dusty Armatree was “returning to the track” following an injury suffered in April. It was his 60th race and he had won his connections over $12,000. His body was sent for autopsy.
On May 8 at Shepparton, Victoria, little Hello Lynda fell mere seconds after the start. She “failed to finish”, having suffered right ulna, radius and elbow fractures. The race video shows her flipping over then bravely getting to her feet, holding up her broken front leg. She stood on the track waiting for help. When help came, she was killed by the on-course vet. Hello Lynda was 2 years old.
Still in Victoria at Ballarat track, two-year-old Our Ruby ran last in her 17th start then collapsed and died in the catching pen. It was her third race in 8 days. Her body was sent for autopsy. Our Ruby had won her owner nearly $6,000 who was saved the expense of having Our Ruby euthanised.
Three greyhounds died or were killed on May 14. They were all “veterans”, two being four years or older, and all died on Mothers’ Day.
Orson Laurie ran his 73rd race at Grafton, NSW and then dropped dead in the catching pen. His body was sent for autopsy. The meet was a special Mothers’ Day event where Mums got free nosh and booze. Children could come for free. To watch greyhounds race, collide, fall and die. Oddly, the details of Orson Laurie’s final and tragic race have not yet been updated in The Greyhound Recorder but we know this race was his third in just seven days. Orson Laurie had won his owner over $90,000. He was raced to death.
Burn Out Bronte was killed by the on-track vet at Richmond, NSW Mothers’ Day meet, where Mums were enticed with free booze and $10 kiddies meals. Burn Out Bronte fell at the first turn and suffered an excruciating comminuted fracture of her humerus and elbow. She “failed to finish” her 29th race. Burn Out Bronte had just turned four.
At Albion Park track, Queensland, four-year-old Zoe Kate dropped dead in the catching pen after her 88th race. Her body was sent for autopsy. Zoe Kate had won her owner over $26,000. Again, her last race is not yet documented in The Greyhound Recorder. Again, she was likely raced to death.
On 18 May at Northam, Western Australia, four-year-old Really Jayell “failed to finish” after she fractured her wrist according to the stewards’ report. Yet Racing and Wagering Western Australia report her as finishing the race well behind the greyhound in front of her. So, did she actually run on with a broken wrist? In any case, she was killed by the on track vet. Really Jayell had been raced 72 times.
Tahlee Girl, 4 ½ , broke both her front wrists at The Gardens, NSW on May 20. She was returning to racing after having more than 5 weeks off following an injury. Tahlee Girl fell at the first turn and “failed to finish”. How could she with both wrists broken? It was her 35th race and she was killed by the on-course vet soon after.
Less than a week later, still at The Gardens track Cyclone Shirley, a young greyhound of 22 months collapsed and died in the catching pen. Her body was sent for autopsy. What causes a young seemingly healthy greyhound to drop dead? She was the fifth greyhound to do so in May.
On the same day at Wagga, NSW, two-year-old Joyous Treasure broke her neck and split her head open when she slammed into the rail at the first turn. The race video is horrific to watch. This was another Gotcha4Life sponsored race and it was Joyous Treasure’s third race in a short 3 ½ week “career”. The on-track vet put her out of her misery soon after. She had won her connections “The Joyous Syndicate” a paltry $250.
|Youngest greyhound to die||Cyclone Shirley||22 months|
|Oldest Greyhound to die||Tahlee Girl||53 months|
|Average age at death||37 months|
|Least no. starts||Zipping Moscow||1st start|
|Most no. starts||Zoe Kate||88th starts|
|Average no. starts all deaths||37 starts|
|Lowest prizemoney||Zipping Moscow||$0|
|Highest prizemoney||Orson Laurie||$90,960|
|Average prizemoney all death||$16,698|
Deaths by state
Injuries (there may be more than one per death)
|Collapse and die||5|
Where injuries/death occurred
|Before first turn||1|
RIP - we will remember you
|Date||Name||Age in months||Track||State|
|14/5||Burn Out Bronte||48m||Richmond||NSW|
|14/5||Zoe Kate||49m||Albion Park||QLD|
|20/5||Tahlee Girl||53m||The Gardens||NSW|
|26/5||Cyclone Shirley||22m||The Gardens||NSW|
Image shows little Hello Lynda after she suffered right ulna, radius and elbow fractures. She stood on the track waiting for help. When help came, she was killed by the on-course vet. Hello Lynda was 2 years old.