1979 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year

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1979 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year
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The 1979 UK & Ireland Greyhound Racing Year was the 53rd year of greyhound racing in the United Kingdom and Ireland.[1]

Roll of honour[edit]

Major Winners
Award Name of Winner
1979 English Greyhound Derby Sarahs Bunny [2] [3]
1979 Irish Greyhound Derby Penny County [4] [5]
1979 Scottish Greyhound Derby Greenville Boy [6]
Greyhound Trainer of the Year Geoff De Mulder
Greyhound of the Year Desert Pilot & Kilmagoura Mist
Irish Greyhound of the Year Nameless Pixie
Trainers Championship John Honeysett


The National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) released the annual returns, with totalisator turnover down, at £70,685,971 and attendances up, recorded at 6,585,491 from 5712 meetings.[8] White City remains the top earner with an average meeting tote turnover of £55,677, some £5,000 more than closest rival Walthamstow Stadium. [9]

Desert Pilot, a white and brindle dog and Kilmagoura Mist, a brindle bitch, were voted joint Greyhound of the Year. Desert Pilot won the Select Stakes and Wembley Summer Cup, Kilmagoura Mist won the St Leger.[10] Sarahs Bunny, a kennelmate of Desert Pilot won the 1979 English Greyhound Derby.[11]


Three tracks closed, Rochester (4 October), Halifax and the Horton Road Stadium in Gloucester (6 July).[12]


The BGRF (British Greyhound Racing Federation) went into voluntary liquidation, the organisation body that had only been formed in 1977 between the NGRC and track promoters had been a disaster. Bizarrely despite the financial losses of the body a new replacement called the British Greyhound Racing Board was set up within months, with the aim to promote and elevate the greyhound racing industry, to improve the welfare and rules of racing.[13] [14]

Leeds closed their track kennels and lost three top trainers in the process, Joe Kelly, Tommy Brown and Jim Brennan (better known for his spell at Sheffield). Kelly was recruited by Racing Manager Terry Meynell and moved into the kennels of the late Harry Bamford, who had died aged just 40 while Brown and Brennan retired. Contracted trainers replacing them at Leeds were Pete Beaumont, Jim Brown and Ray Andrews.[10] [13] New Southend trainer Tom Lanceman also supplied runners for Ipswich, he was one of the first ever trainers to take up a dual attachment. Lanceman also trained the Grand National winner Topofthetide to a second successive win, the greyhound had won in 1978 for Tim Forster at odds on.[12] [13] [15]

Lacca Champion was retired after the Derby and Joe De Mulder, former trainer and father of Geoff De Mulder died.[10]


A newcomer called Sports Promoter reared by Pat and Linda Mullins broke the track record over 400 metres at Cambridge in his first race [16] and went on to win the Romford Puppy Cup and Sporting Life Juvenile.[13] [15] The Olympic returned after an eight year absence, the event was resurrected by Brighton.[12] [17]

John Honeysett won a closely fought Trainers Championship at Crayford after defeating John Coleman by just two points. Both had three winners on the night, Honeysett (Sandpiper Folly, Langford Dan, Triple Aspect), Coleman (Noble Brigg, Head Prefect, Our Rufus).[18]


The Bord na gCon announced a massive 60% hike in prize money. The grand re-opening of Galway was on 25 May, with the modernisation costing over £500,000.[13]

Principal UK races[edit]


  1. ^ Fry, Paul (1995). The Official NGRC Greyhound Racing Yearbook. Ringpress Books. ISBN 186054-010-4.
  2. ^ Dack, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years, pages 165/166/167/168/169. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  3. ^ "1979". Greyhound Data.
  4. ^ Fortune, Michael. The 75 Years History of the Irish Greyhound Derby 1932-2006. Irish Greyhound Review. ISSN 0709-0609.
  5. ^ Fortune, Michael. Irish Greyhound Derby 1932-1981. Victory Irish Promotions Ltd.
  6. ^ Hobbs, Jonathan (2007). Greyhound Annual 2008, pages 153-154. Raceform. ISBN 978-1-905153-53-4.
  7. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1979) March 2010 edition". Greyhound Star.
  8. ^ NGRC calendar. National Greyhound Racing Club. January 1980.
  9. ^ "Remember When - February 1979". Greyhound Star.
  10. ^ a b c Genders, Roy (1981). The Encyclopedia of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 07207-1106-1.
  11. ^ Dack, Barrie (1990). Greyhound Derby, the first 60 years, pages 165/166/167/168/169. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-36-8.
  12. ^ a b c Barnes, Julia (1988). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-15-5.
  13. ^ a b c d e Genders, Roy (1990). NGRC book of Greyhound Racing. Pelham Books Ltd. ISBN 0-7207-1804-X.
  14. ^ "Greyhound Star (Remember When - January 1979)". Greyhound Star.
  15. ^ a b Barnes, Julia (1991). Daily Mirror Greyhound Fact File, Vol Two. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-61-9.
  16. ^ "Remember When - November 1979". Greyhound Star.
  17. ^ Barnes/Sellers, Julia/John (1992). Ladbrokes Greyhound Fact File. Ringpress Books. ISBN 0-948955-22-8.
  18. ^ "Monthly Greyhound Star (Remember When 1979) March 2010 edition". Greyhound Star.
  19. ^ "Remember When - November". Greyhound Star.
  20. ^ "Remember When - September 2019". Greyhound Star.