About The Greyhound
Board of Great Britain
The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) is the newly formed body with responsibility for the governance, regulation and management of the sport of licensed greyhound racing in England, Scotland and Wales.
Effective and operational from 1st January 2009, the GBGB is a single, unified body that has taken on the functions of both the British Greyhound Racing Board and the National Greyhound Racing Club.
The GBGB is a centre for governance, regulation and welfare as well as a lead for commercial development and growth of the sport. It is committed to managing its functions to the highest standards achievable and being efficient, effective and accountable to those that it licenses, and the public.
The Donoughue Report
In 2007, Government gave the sport clear riding instructions with regard to self regulation. It made clear that it required radical and substantial reform and root and branch changes if the sport is to retain its self-regulatory framework.
Greyhound racing took this instruction on board and the British Greyhound Racing Board and National Greyhound Racing Club jointly commissioned the eminent Labour peer, Lord Bernard Donoughue, to carry out an independent review of the greyhound racing industry in Britain. Lord Donoughue was assisted by Patrick Nixon, Secretary of the Bookmakers Committee at the Horserace Betting Levy Board, Clarissa Baldwin (Chief Executive of the Dogs Trust), Jim Cremin (former Greyhound Editor of the Racing Post) and Jim Donnelly (Head of Sport at PA Sport).
Lord Donoughue’s report was published in November 2007. A full version can be read at www.greyhounds-donoughue-report.co.uk . In summary, the comprehensive report recommended that the sport should remain self-regulated but should create a new single entity to conduct the governance, administration, finance and regulation of greyhound racing. Lord Donoughue also made thirty six other recommendations designed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of regulation and raise welfare standards still further.
Greyhound Board of Great Britain
The Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB) comprises a single main Board, the highest level of authority in the sport. It is ultimately responsible for all aspects of governance and regulation and approves proposals of the Greyhound Regulatory Board. It has neither links with, nor authority over, the Stewards Disciplinary Committee or the Appeals Procedure.
The key functions of the GBGB include:
•To develop commercial strategy for greyhound racing
•To promote the interests of greyhound racing
•To approve proposals for additions or amendments to the Rules of Racing, as submitted by the Greyhound Regulatory Board
•To formulate industry policy on welfare and other common-interest issues
•To manage government and inter-industry relations including public relations and media relations
•To approve the annual budget
•To develop and implement industry training policy
Greyhound Regulatory Board
Incorporated within the GBGB, but with independent status, is the Greyhound Regulatory Board (GRB) The GRB is a body integrated into the overall GBGB structure and is not a subordinate element of it. There is a strong common representation on both boards to maintain the necessary high level of regulatory influence consistent with accountability.
The key functions of the GRB include:
•To implement and manage the Rules of Racing
•To propose, amend and provide advice on the Rules of Racing
•To provide the identification and registration of greyhounds for licensed racing
•To license greyhound stadia, trainers, owners, kennel staff and track officials
•To inspect and maintain standards required of all licensed parties
•To manage the drug sampling programme
•To set standards for racing integrity
•To investigate complaints, alleged breaches of the Rules of Racing and, where necessary, to implement the disciplinary proves
The two boards are supported by a number of committees. These include the Welfare, Racing, Finance and Commercial committees (to develop and co-ordinate the implementation of policy in these areas), a Stewards Disciplinary Committee (to hear disciplinary hearings) and an Appeal Committee (to preside over appeals from anyone aggrieved by a decision of the Stewards Disciplinary Committee).
The GBGB executive of approximately twenty staff is based in Holborn, central London. In addition there is a field force of Stipendiary Stewards, Earmarking Stewards and Drug Sampling Stewards.
The main Greyhound Board of Great Britain comprises an independent Chairman and the Chief Executive, along with four independent directors, two of whom are from the Greyhound Regulatory Board. There are three representatives nominated by the Racecourse Promoters Association and one “practitioner” representative nominated jointly by the Federation of British Greyhound Owners Association, the Greyhound Trainers Association and the Greyhound Breeders Forum.
Maurice Watkins – Chairman
Maurice Watkins is a Senior Partner at solicitors Brabners Chaffe Street, based in Manchester. He is also a director of Manchester United Football Club, a non-executive director of the Rugby Football League and a Regional Chairman of Coutts Bank.