THE greyhound industry has been on a roller coaster ride in the past few years, but racing is still forging ahead during a challenging time for all sports.
Four years ago, during the short-lived greyhound racing ban, trainers and owners would be in disbelief to hear in 2020 their sport would be one of the very few industries still operating in the lead-in to winter.
Greyhounds, thoroughbred and harness racing are all still operational to various extents across Australia while virtually every other sport has gone into shutdown on the back of the government's latest coronavirus restrictions.
Bathurst's Kennerson Park hasn't welcomed spectators for several weeks now but racing otherwise carries on as normal every Monday afternoon.
Trainers and staff have been diligent in their social distancing measures, such as allowing just two trainers to load their dogs into the boxes at a time, but the club has taken a financial hit like everyone in the industry.
Kennerson Park racing manager Jason Lyne said everyone counts themselves fortunate that they're still able to carry on racing after an up-and-down run these past few years.
"From where we were four years ago to still be one of the few industries running, it's a good feeling but it's very surreal in the current climate as well," he said.
"The greyhound racing industry in NSW is going through what a lot of people in the state are experiencing at the moment. One day you've got a job, next day don't, and you don't know when it's going to end.
"The whole greyhound industry can relate to what people are going through, and hopefully we don't get there again."
Just because racing is going ahead doesn't mean the club is feeling right as rain.
It's more like the virus has created a flood of problems, and club members are doing their best to keep their head above water.
Lyne and his staff are all grateful for the work the governing body have done to keep the sport going while the club are unable to receive any gate takings.
"It's still challenging for us with no-one coming through the gate," he said.
"We're going okay but with no crowds you lose the bar and we've had to cancel a few functions. It will be tough on the club but we're still able to offer racing and let the dogs do something they love."
The greyhounds industry hasn't suffered any Covid-19 scares like their thoroughbred and harness racing counterparts but that hasn't stopped Greyhound Racing NSW from implementing similar regionalisation measures.
Lyne said it's good for the sport to try and be proactive rather than reactive.
"Anyone living on this side of the mountains, including Lithgow, are confined to racing at Bathurst and Dubbo," he said.
"That's helping to protect the industry in case something happens like what we saw last week in the harness racing and thoroughbreds, who had a couple of scares. Sticking to one region is something that will help us keep going."
Kennerson Park will continue to race this Monday, with more Ladbrokes Monthly Medal 5th Grade Heats to be run at the Bathurst track.
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