The IGB is in daily contact with Department of Agriculture Food & the Marine regarding a potential resumption of greyhound racing. There is no indication at this point of a likely date for resumption.

We await the Government’s national plan for restoration of activity across all sectors which is scheduled to be published before 5th May 2020. It is likely that resumption of activity will be on a phased basis over a period of time and contingent on an ongoing monitoring of the status of COVID-19 and general public health requirements. All greyhound tracks are in a ‘racing ready’ state to accommodate resumption of activity when Government and public health directives permit. 

In preparing for any resumption of activity the Board has set out the following ‘road map’ for a return to full activity:

  • - The period of suspension of racing activity will be disregarded for the purposes of calculating the 42 day period that a greyhound is eligible to race under the Racing Regulations 2007.

  • - Any greyhound that was ‘in time’ and eligible to race when racing was suspended on 24th March 2020 will remain in time on resumption of greyhound racing.

  • - The Board has given significant consideration to the potential welfare issues that may arise for greyhounds in a long period of racing inactivity. Accordingly, all greyhounds that were considered eligible to race on March 24th 2020, will be required, on resumption of activity, to undergo one trial (sprint trial) for welfare considerations in advance of being scheduled to race.

  • - There will no charge for this sprint trial for greyhounds that remain in time on resumption of racing activity.

  • - Novice sweepstakes will be temporarily suspended and existing novice greyhounds (and new novice greyhounds when qualifying trials have been completed) will be incorporated in one-off novice races for a 4 week period. These races will be run over the current ON1, ON2, and ON3 grading bands and raced greyhounds will not compete with novice greyhounds under this regime.

  • - Novice greyhounds that require a 525 qualification trial in order to race over the 525 yard distance on resumption of racing activity, will be permitted to complete the 525 qualification trial in the ordinary way.

  • - From the date of resumption, the IGB will give priority to official trials on extended hours at all tracks to prepare greyhounds for racing within 7 days of resumption of activity.

  • - Priority will be given to re-establishment of the racing pool strength in the initial stages of resumption with the scheduling of races rather than sweepstakes with a particular focus on sprint races.

  • - For SIS racing, requirements for resumption of racing are under discussion and will be advised closer to the date of resumption.

  • - All activity on resumption will require to be conducted having regard to all Covid 19 protocols including, social distancing. A practice and protocol advisory document on Covid 19 precautionary measures for persons attending stadia on the resumption of racing is in the course of preparation. Further information on Covid 19 precautionary protocols will be advised closer to the date of resumption.