19th May 2020
(Opens to a third party website)
It feels like we are in a new dawn as yesterday we saw our first batch of trials go to Henlow, it certainly seems longer than a couple of months since we were forced into lockdown but it was good to be loading the van with 14 dogs. They all looked badly in need of a run but overall I was pleased with the way they went, Jesses Sister was fastest of ours clocking a respectable 16.96.
With the strict new guidelines in place at Henlow and all tracks returning for trial days the process is a good deal slower than normal but that’s the way it has to be and I’ve no doubt this is going to be a long ordeal getting back to anywhere near normality and a tough couple of months lay ahead. Securing trials are going to be like gold dust especially for the better class dogs and once we actually race getting regular runs will be a nightmare unless your a wide runner!
We have done our best to try and keep all owners informed which has been a battle when the messages we have received have not always been clear to us but we are getting there. All being well Towcester will permit us to trial next week so we can try and get our open runners and new dogs started with some initial trials, again what they intend to do with race days/opens still hasn’t been finalised whilst any thoughts of opens at the likes of Romford etc or competitions resuming seem light years away. Our hopes will be on Towcester getting the better class dogs out and god forbid what will happen if there is a second wave of the pandemic that caused all this in the first place! Through all what’s going on in greyhound racing we have to remember that thousands of lives have been lost and we all need to take a reality check when it comes to our passion and in most cases hobby. Myself, my family and our staff will do our very best to help our owners and our sports fans put a smile on everyone’s faces as soon as possible.
We have more trials at Henlow Thursday and Friday and importantly Towcester are now taking bookings for trials from next Monday. We have an array of stars booked for next Monday and Tuesday and it will be interesting returning there from a near two year absence.
Listening to Kevin Boothby talking on #LockdownTapes on YouTube it certainly gives us and the sport real hope and is a refreshing watch. With Kevin talking about opens, competitions, Night of Stars, match races and of course the Derby he maybe guilty of running before he can walk in this current climate but all the same we can dream of a bright new era in greyhound racing. I will say this though, when we get back to normality if every trainer and owner possible supports Kevin and his team and looks at all the positives and not any negatives with Towcester we can set the tone for our sport's future and we could have something that we as an industry can be so proud of.
Thank you to all the people that loved our kennels ‘Many Faces’ video produced by my daughter Emily Wallis. I have to say it was brilliant and showed just what our kennel has been like during Lockdown, the fact we are touching 18,000 views is testament to how good it looks with so many likes and shares for our 5 minute piece. I actually sent a link to the band James via their website and Facebook page and would love to get a response back. The song Many Faces is one of James’ best on their superb most recent album aptly titled ‘Living In Extraordinary Times’, they are obviously my favourite all time band and so so underrated and their last 3 or 4 albums match, or better, their many famous songs from the 80s and 90s. Check them out and if you get a chance to see them live I guarantee you will not be disappointed!
We have also brought an end to our Twitter's Imperial Kennels daily archive races that, without fail, we have shown everyday since lockdown began but now it’s time to look forwards not backwards. One thing I’ve certainly realised during recent times is the power of social media and I think just looking at our website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages we are without doubt the leading kennel in the industry. Emily, Sarah, Mick, Maureen and Sid have all helped myself with this so thank you very much, we will continue to keep the good work up.
I hope everyone is staying safe and well