Poole Stadium has played host to greyhound racing for over 50 years. But is it still popular as ever?
Animals and sport have been synonymous with British culture for hundreds of years; from hunting to racing and Poole is notorious for its famous greyhound races that take place every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday evening. It’s what brings – or used to bring – many to the town.
Alan Masters, chairman of the Poole Owners and Trainers Association, certainly doesn’t seem to think so.
“On a Saturday night it’s very busy. There’s 300, sometimes 800 people up in the restaurant. Weekends are busier because we often get stag dos. The restaurant is booked up from now until the end of the year.”
People have this idea that the people who turn up are mostly old men smoking and betting, but that’s just not the case.
Mr Masters also spoke about how ethics have improved over the years he’s been working at the Association.
“Nearly every dog is rehomed. [the RGT have rehomed over 45,000 greyhounds over 30 years]. Each track is associated with a different charity and Poole work with the Retired Greyhound Trust who have a big advert in all the programmes
“There are three urine samples during a race so there’s much more control now. The owners love their dogs.”
Still rated as #13 of 54 things to do in Poole on TripAdvisor, and with tracks all over the country closing to be redeveloped into housing as the sport declines, there is popular demand in Poole. Their publicly funded stadium will clearly be racing greyhounds for ever-excited spectators for many years to come.