Young kennelhand gains canine friend for life as greyhound trainer attempting to give youth a chance in the sport
Only For Rory has three wins to his name since he began racing at Limerick Greyhound Stadium – but that’s not where the joy begins and ends for trainer PJ Ryan and young kennelhand Amanda Meade.
The duo have formed a formidable partnership since Amanda, from Meanus, Co. Limerick, began working at PJ’s kennels in Newport, Co. Tipperary, last year.
Amanda’s background is in horses but, having gained her kennelhand license, she began training her first greyhound, Only For Rory – named Harry when he’s off the track – with PJ’s assistance. Amanda intends to keep Harry as a pet once his racing career is over.
A key pillar of the IGB’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022 targets incentivising greyhound ownership and training to ensure a continuous supply of high quality racing greyhounds and dog pools. One of the ways the IGB is continuing to ensure investment in the grass roots of the industry is a deal with SIS, which broadcasts nine Irish meetings a week to customers across the world.
“The SIS racing has been great to us in Limerick and we’ve been running dogs in it since started in 2018″
“I see SIS racing as a great help to smaller owners and trainers who are now able to race their dogs regularly. It’s great to see a young person like Amanda showing such interest in the dogs and she’s happy when all the dogs get around safe, her priority is that the welfare of the dogs comes first. I’m very lucky that Amanda has joined up with me and we’ve had a great start to 2019.”
An important part of the pillar in the IGB’s Strategic Plan incentivising owners and trainers is to encourage younger people into the industry. PJ’s two grandsons, Lee and Daniel, have also obtained kennelhand licenses.
“I would hope in the future to set up my own kennels to rear a few pups and maybe go training but for now I am quite happy being a kennelhand,” says Amanda.
“I’m very grateful to PJ and his wife Hannah for being so welcoming. Harry will be joining my family at home when he retires from racing as he is such a pet and being my first dog he deserves his place on the couch.”
SIS racing takes place at Limerick Greyhound Stadium every Thursday night, with an additional race meeting also held at the Dock Road venue every Saturday evening.