Becoming a Greyhound Owner

Whether you are new to the sport, or want to re-discover the joys of greyhound ownership, we’re here to help you along the way. Forming a syndicate with friends or colleagues, or going it alone as a single owner, there’s an option to suit you. 

So you're ready to take the first steps - but what do you need to do? We'll help to guide you through the process and make the simple transition from racing spectator to owner.

Ready to find out more or get started on the road to greyhound ownership? Email us on now. 

Download our Syndicate Brochure now


Click on the menu items below to learn more:

1. The First Steps - types of ownership

2. Picking a Trainer

3. Buying your Greyhound

4. Registering your Greyhound 

5. Greyhound Welfare

6. Enjoy the experience

7. FAQ - Everything you need to know about becoming a greyhound owner!



1. The First Steps

First up - pick a form of greyhound ownership that suits you. 

There are 3 types of ownership options available to you; a syndicate, a partnership or single ownership. 



A Syndicate

Forming a syndicate with friends, family, colleagues or a sports club is a fun and affordable introduction to the world of greyhound racing. 

A greyhound syndicate can consist of between 4 and 20 members. It is the most cost-effective method of ownership, the more syndicate members you have, the more ways to split the costs.

Your syndicate will decide on a name (e.g. The Greyhound Syndicate) and one member of your syndicate must be nominated as the representative. All corespondance will be directed through the nominated member., making it easier for everyone to manage.

A Partnership

A partnership is when a greyhound is jointly owned between two owners. Both owners names will appear together as owners.

Single Ownership

This one is pretty self-explanatory - there's just one single owner, you!


2. Picking a Trainer

Most owner's choose to have a trainer for their greyhound, and the greyhound would live with the trainer at their own kennels. The trainer will look after the greyhound on a day-to-day basis. There are two types of trainers licences available for greyhound racing in Ireland, Public and Private. 

Public Trainers can hold unlimited numbers of greyhounds once they have suitable facilities. They must submit details monthly of their greyhounds in training to the GRI Regulations Department and they automatically recieve a 10% share of prizemoney for the greyhounds they train. Owners can designate the other 90% to their Private Trainer if they wish, see prizemoney above for more details. 

Private Trainers can hold up to 4 greyhounds for reward. Unlike the Public Trainers, they are not required to submit details monthly to the GRI Regulations Department but they are required to inform them or a Racing Manager if a greyhound enters or leaves their kennels. Owners cannot nominate their Private Trainer to receive prizemoney.  

An important step in your journey into greyhound ownership is finding the right trainer. It's important that your trainer fits with your needs and wants, here's some key points to consider:

  • Location - consider your trainers location and their regular tracks, along with your preferred racing location.

  • Welfare - talk to your trainer about their welfare standards and be satisfied that they adhere to the highest level of care.

  • Visit - if you can, take in a visit to the trainer at their kennels / training facility to get a feeling for how they work and how things work there.

  • Personality - like any good workig relationship it's important that you and your trainer have a good relationship.

  • Experience - do you want a more experienced trainer or would you prefer to work with a smaller or up and coming trainer? Both will have their own benefits, so consider what's important to you. You can take a look at the current trainer rankings here

Video: A visit to young trainer Margaret Bolton's kennels


3. Buying your Greyhound

When you've got the first steps completed, then it's time to look at the most important detail - your greyhound! You can choose to buy a greyhound at 3 different stages:

  • As a pup - this is very young greyhound with no formal training for their racing career or racing experience for you to view. 

  • As a sapling - this a young greyhound who has not yet raced but will be in training for their future racing career. 

  • As a race dog - this is a greyhound that already has racing experience on the track. Buying a race dog means that you will have some knowledge of their racing abilities or potential. 

Where to buy your Greyhound

You can buy your greyhound direct from your trainer or an owner or breeder in a private sale or through an official sales auction. Once you've sourced your trainer, they will be able to advise and assist you with your decision making. 


Public Sales Auctions

A number of public sales auctions take place at various greyhound stadia throughout the year. View the list of upcoming sales dates and locations here

Each of the greyhounds in the sales auction first completes a sales trial, which you can view, and this will give you a better idea of the greyhound's ability. Once all of the sales trials are complete, each of the greyhounds (identified by their lot number on the catalogue) will be sold by the auctioneer. 

When buying a greyhound at a sales auction, you should ensure that you get the correct documentation on the day including the greyhound's Stud Book and Transfer of Ownership form with the auctioneer's stamp, staff on the day will assist with this. 


4. Registering your Greyhound 

The Greyhound Stud Book (the registration of all greyhounds on the island of Ireland) is managed by the Irish Coursing Club (ICC). All naming, registrations and follow up is directly with the ICC. For more information or to contact them, visit the ICC website

Here's some important steps to consider:

  • Choose your Syndicate Name
  • Finalise your Syndicate details and nominate a member of the syndicate to act as an agent on your behalf. This nominated agent will be the main 'Owner' point of contact. 
  • Choose your Greyhound's racing name - why not take a quick look at this story to help get you started
  • Send your registration and fees direct to the ICC

Useful Links:





5. Greyhound Welfare

The welfare of the greyhound is an integral part of greyhound ownership. From the beginning of your ownership, right through to the end, you have an obligation as their owner to ensure that your greyhound is well cared for. You entrust your trainer with your greyhound's care so a good owner/trainer relationship is important - a good trainer should be updating you regularly on their care and general well-being and should allow you to visit from time to time.

Greyhounds typically race from 15-18 months old up until they are 4 or 5, but can continue racing longer than this. Unfortunately a racing greyhound may have to retire early due to injury or for medical reasons. It is important that you have a plan for your greyhound once their racing career is over. Ideally you should aim to keep your greyhound as a family pet once they have finished racing however if this is not possible then the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust are on hand to assist with rehoming.

Our People, Their Stories

The Irish Retired Greyhound Trust (IRGT) was first established in 1997 by the Greyhound Racing Ireland. Funded through owners prizemoney deductions, matched donations by the GRI & private donations, the charity works to rehome greyhounds after retirement and promote them as domestic pets. 

There are many dedicated staff, volunteers and greyhound owners behind the scenes of the Irish Retired Greyhound Trust, many of whom have never had their story recognised.

Throughout the summer and autumn of 2018, the GRI took a photographer and videographer on the road to capture just some of the stories of our people. Check out the trailer below for a flavour of the series, or click here to view the full Our People, Their Stories series


6. Enjoy the experience

Congratulations, you've made it - you are now the owner of your own racing greyhound! Now go & enjoy the experience. Why not check some other syndicates to find out more about their experience on our Featured Syndicate page. 

Share the fun with friends, family, colleagues and teammates and go cheer home your greyhound as they race. For an extra treat, don't forget you can enjoy a meal in one of the many Greyhound Stadia restaurants across the country. 

Can't make it to see the race - don't worry, follow the action with the Tote on Barking Buzz. If you miss a night of racing, you can catch up on your greyhound's performance by watching the video* on the GRI results page. You can also brush up on your racing knowledge by following the latest news on Talking Dogs

*Video service is subject to local availability