The Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) has been advised by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) that it will be granting a rule dispensation to support international entries for the English Greyhound Derby.

The rule dispensation will allow Irish entries to avoid the need to travel and face quarantine restrictions if they so wish, by sending their greyhound to a GBGB licensed trainer for participation in the event. It also permits a simplified trialling requirement on this occasion, with just one trial at a GBGB licensed or recognised racecourse required. For full details, please read the statement below.

Irish Owners and Trainers intending to travel, are advised that a Special Authority request must be submitted by the IGB on their behalf. Detailed information on Special Authorities and requirements for racing in the UK may be found on https://www.igb.ie/YourKennel/ireland-to-uk-race-regulations/

Owners and Trainers are also reminded that all overseas travel should only be undertaken under Government guidelines published at https://www.gov.ie/en/campaigns/75d92-covid-19-travel-advice/ and Owners and Trainers will be required to set out their plans to adhere to this advice in advance of any Special Authority being submitted to GBGB on their behalf.

The statement issued by the GBGB reads:

GBGB has today announced that, following a meeting of the GRB, it will be granting a rule dispensation for the English Greyhound Derby to support international entries amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dispensation seeks to lessen some of the difficulties facing Irish trainers and owners who wish to compete in the competition due to the severe travel restrictions currently in place in the Republic of Ireland. At the moment, these measures require those returning from England to quarantine for two weeks upon their arrival back.

To avoid the need to travel and face these quarantine restrictions, GBGB recognises that an international trainer or owner may wish to send their greyhound to a GBGB licensed trainer for participation in the event. As such, on this occasion it has been agreed that the registration and trialling requirements for international entries to the Derby would be simplified – reducing to one trial.

This means that, for international trainers or owners sending a greyhound to a GBGB licensed trainer for participation:

  • The greyhound must have successfully completed at least one trial or race at a GBGB licensed racecourse, or racecourse recognised by GBGB on or after 12th September 2020 (within 22 days of the first round) but before 24th September 2020 (the closing date).
  • This trial can be completed over any distance and can be solo or mixed.
  • The greyhound must be registered with GBGB in the normal way to include a Point of Registration sample and payment to the Greyhound Retirement Scheme.

Paul Illingworth, Senior Stipendiary Steward at GBGB, said:

“With the Irish Greyhound Derby well underway and trainers beginning to turn their attention to the English Derby, we have been working at ways we can support international entries whilst the COVID-19 travel restrictions remain in place.

“Unfortunately, I know that for some Irish trainers, particularly those with much smaller kennels, entering a greyhound in the English Derby may not be a viable option at the moment because of the need to quarantine on their return – particularly if they would tend to commute each week rather than stay in England for the duration of the competition.

“As such, the dispensation to the qualification rules that we have announced – whilst obviously not a perfect solution given the realities of the current pandemic – aims to support international entries as much as possible.

“The English Derby has seen some stunning competition and winners in the past from Irish greyhounds and we want to ensure that, wherever we can, we help this continue whilst upholding the highest integrity and welfare measures.”