This week the National Greyhound Association launched their 2016 Spring Meet. The NGA is a voluntary non-profit association that acts as the sole registry for racing greyhounds on the North American continent. They conduct two auction events every year, the Fall Meet and the Spring Meet.
The NGA Spring Meet began on Monday, April 25 and will finish up on Saturday, April 30, 2016. Greyhound Channel was a proud sponsor of a major stakes race run during the Spring Meet on Thursday, April 28. Since the races are held at the NGA track in Abilene, Kansas, the race video is tough to get (since it’s not simulcast like traditional racetracks). We were able to locate the video though! Check it out:
Gary Guccione, Greyhound Hall of Fame inductee and Executive Director and contributor for the NGA, wrote a greyt article detailing the Spring Meet agenda:
“Thirteen stakes are scheduled for the Track Stakes, as 319 pups have been entered in the semi-annual event. Of those entries, 277 are consigned to the Pup Auction, to be held later in the week as the Meet’s final event. The Brood Auction, to be held after a portion of the pup sale on Friday night, will feature 26 brood matrons and two artwork items.” You can read the rest of Mr. Guccione’s article for more information on the Spring Meet festivities.
Thursday night NGA Meet attendees celebrated the accomplishments of Donald R. Ryan, this year’s NGA Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Mr. Ryan’s grandparents owned greyhounds and operated a farm and a kennel in Massachusetts. Mr. Ryan’s parents had a farm in Abilene, Kansas, where he developed his passion and appreciation for the sport. Following in his family’s footsteps, Mr. Ryan has spent his entire life involved in the greyhound industry. Aside from fostering a lifetime of greyhound athletes, he’s a pillar of strength to the greyhound racing industry and community.
Ryan Farms Kennel has an impressive list of greyhound athletes originating from their BREEZY ANN female line. It was this lineage that the Ryans’ all star pups were produced from: GREAT SON, MANKATO, MOLOTOV (2007 Hall of Famer and influential sire), and DOMINATOR (2000 All-America Team Captain, Rural Rube, and Flashy Sir award winner), to name a few.
During the Spring Meet, the NGA awarded two Greyhound Hall of Fame scholarships.
The Jason Dean Hunt Scholarship honors Army Specialist Jason Dean Hunt (grandson of Hall of Famer Kay Smith). Army Specialist Jason Dean Hunt served 3 and a half years in the military, including a stint in Iraq. He was a courageous soul who was killed in the Ft. Hood, Texas shooting in 2009. He shared in his family’s love for greyhounds. In memory of Jason’s close kinship with greyhounds, a scholarship was created to encourage post high school education for people connected to the sport of greyhound racing.
The other Greyhound Hall of Fame scholarship is one dedicated to the Hall of Fame track owner and operator icon, Edward J. Keelan III. The Edward J. Keelan III Scholarship honors the Greyhound Hall of Fame inductee who began his career in greyhound racing back in the summer of 1940, working at Wonderland Park in Revere, Massachusetts. After college and the Navy, Mr. Keelan was involved with Raynham Greyhound Track, where he spent several years in many capacities as an officer, director, general manager, and owner of the track. In 1970 he was elected to be President of the AGTOA for three years, then was elected for three terms as the President of the World Greyhound Racing Federation in 1976. Mr. Keelan continued on to work for the legalization of greyhound racing in New Hampshire and Connecticut, and in the 1980’s, was instrumental in forming the American Greyhound Council. Not only was he passionate about the sport of greyhound racing but he also was a pioneer for greyhound adoption, believing in the importance of the welfare of retired greyhounds. He passed away in January 2007.
Scholarship award recipients are selected each spring by the faculty staff members at Kansas State University. For the first time ever, the scholarship recipients come from the same town and state, and will both be graduating this spring from Abilene High School, in Kansas.
The scholarship award recipients are Brendon Boyd Dalton, who will receive the Jason Dean Hunt Memorial scholarship, and Ashley Collette, who will receive the Edward J. Keelan III Memorial Scholarship. The scholarships were presented on Thursday night, April 28 during the Greyhound Hall of Fame’s ceremony program.
Congratulations to award recipient Donald R. Ryan, scholarship winners Brendon Boyd Dalton and Ashley Collette, as well as everyone involved at the NGA for putting together yet another exciting Spring Meet!