Greyhound Racing New Zealand has joined the apprenticeship structure offered by the New Zealand Equine Industry Training Organisation (EITO). Being a racing Code, advantages can be gained in terms of providing formal pathways for people in the racing industry and through the promotion of careers.
How to become a Kennelhand
Greyhound racing is conducted throughout New Zealand with differing levels of trainer status, i.e. owner-trainer and public trainer. Trainers might train as few as one dog to as many as 400, as is the case with a couple of public trainers. A trainer with a large number of dogs may require kennel staff to assist in the day-to-day activities in the kennel. This can include exercising the greyhounds, preparing the greyhounds for racing and attending a race meeting.
Greyhound Racing offers excellent opportunities to school leavers who wish to pursue a career working with animals. Academic qualifications are not essential for this career, but it is important that applicants have a strong interest in and concern for the welfare of greyhounds. Trainers look for bright, responsible individuals who are prepared to work fairly long and unsocial hours, albeit with the advantage that much of the work is out of doors. Life is normally hectic but can be exciting especially if you have charge of a high class greyhound. You will certainly be rewarded with loyalty and affection from these loving animals.
Greyhound Racing New Zealand in conjunction with the New Zealand Equine Industry Training Organisation now offers an NZQA registered qualification. This qualification is called the National Certificate in Greyhound Racing - Kennel Hand. It is a two year qualification, and takes approximately two years to complete. Currently there is no cost involved, only giving up some of your time to attend training days.
What is required?
Kennels vary in size and numbers of staff but without exception you must be able to work as part of a team, completely loyal to the Trainer and willing to carry
You may be required to accompany your greyhounds to the various racecourses and so a considerable amount of travelling is entailed. A clean driving licence is an
Daily routine various from kennel to kennel, but basically revolves round the general welfare and training of the greyhound, its feeding, exercise and grooming.
- At the racecourse the Kennel Hand is responsible to the Trainer whose greyhound has been placed in his or her charge and liases with both racecourse staff and the
track Veterinary Surgeon.
- The Kennel Hand must guide his/her greyhound through the pre-race procedures, which include the weighing, veterinary examination and parading on the track prior to
- In the absence of the Trainer, the Kennel Hand is responsible at all times for the greyhound in his/her charge.
- A flexible approach to work as there will be variety both in regime and location.
Other career options