Great Western greyhound trainer David Gehan has had one of his dogs recognised for its outstanding season to be awarded as the Horsham Greyhound Racing Club greyhound of the year for 2016.
The Horsham track officially reopened on Tuesday night after a major $800,000 redevelopment.
Just Tooie ran three wins in 2016 as well as a significant amount of places to finish with the most points of any dog in the 2016 season at Horsham.
Horsham Greyhound Racing Club manager Justin Brilliant said it was great to see a local greyhound win the award.
“I think the award speaks for itself as to the season the Just Tooie had,” he said.
“It is nice to see the award go to a local dog and trainer.”
It was an emotional evening for Mr Gehan and his family as they collected the rug for Little Tooie.
Little Tooie was cared for by Mr Gehan’s wife Debbie, before she passed away from cancer in December 2016.
Mr Gehan said he is so proud to be able to collect the award for Debbie.
“She knew he (Little Tooie) had won greyhound of the year before she passed,” he said.
“We still race him in her name and I am so proud to do it.
“I choke up a bit whenever I talk about it, but I am so happy to have picked up the award for her.”
Mr Brilliant said the Gehan family have played and continue to play a big role with his club.
“David and Debbie have always been involved in the club,” he said.
“It is great to see David come up here every week and contribute to greyhound racing in the area.”
Mr Gehan said the closure of the Horsham track for redevelopment helped Little Tooie go on to win.
“We were a bit fortunate the track closed when it did,” he said.
“He just happened to be in front before they closed so we knew for a while that he had won.”
The Horsham greyhound track redevelopment included widening the track, increasing the camber on bends to provide smooth transitions and reduce crowing and potential inference and the replacement of the lure and safety rail and installation of a new braking lure motor. It has also included the replacement of the track surface, upgraded irrigation and electrical systems and the addition of new perimeter fencing, head-on cameras, drop-on boxes and starting boxes.