Premier Greyhound Racing – a joint venture between Entain and the Arena Racing Company – has announced Clarissa Baldwin as a Non-Executive Director
Looking to bolster its animal welfare credentials through a new addition to its senior management, Baldwin joins the company after a 25-year tenure as CEO of the Dogs Trust and 20 years as Chair of the Greyhound Forum.
“It’s an honour to be joining the Premier Greyhound Racing Board,” Baldwin stated in her new role. “I have a life-long passion for the welfare of animals and racing greyhounds are incredibly close to my heart, in particular after my two decades as Chair of the Greyhound Forum.
“I am looking forward to working with David Lipsey and his team to help deliver Premier Greyhound Racing’s commitment to the welfare of greyhounds, the precious stars of our sport.”
A CBE recipient for animal welfare work, Baldwin’s addition to Premier Greyhound Racing’s board comes five months after Lord David Lipsey was named as Chair of the organisation.
This aimed to promote greyhound racing as a betting market via increased investment and railings of welfare standards.
Commenting on Baldwin’s hire as an NED, Lipsey added: “Clarissa’s appointment is a tremendous asset to the Premier Greyhound Racing Board.
“She is a tireless champion of animal welfare and her vast experience will be invaluable given her distinguished career associated with leading canine bodies both within, and outside, the sport.
“I will work closely with Clarissa as we drive forward with our shared passion to put greyhound welfare at the very heart of everything we do at Premier Greyhound Racing.”
In addition to her time at the Dogs Trust and Greyhound Forum, Baldwin also served on Lord Donoughue’s 2007 independent review of greyhound racing, is the dictator of the ‘a dog is for life, not just for Chriatmas’ slogan and a current trustee of the Mission Rabies charity.
The appointment comes shortly after Baldwin’s former charity, the Dogs Trust, joined the RSPCA and Blue Cross in calling for a nationwide ban on UK greyhound racing, citing welfare concerns – a plan harshly criticised by the Greyhound Board of Great Britain (GBGB).
Defending the industry’s record, GBGB CEO Mark Bird and Chair Jeremy Cooper referenced the Greyhound Commitment and ‘A good life for every greyhound’ programme, stating that welfare standards had ‘improved drastically’.
In the case of Premier Greyhound Racing, the JV has set out to contribute to greyhound welfare with investment, building on a £2.5m cash injection into Open Racing prize money.
Entain and ARC have each committed to invest in Open Racing prize money, exceeding a combined £2.5 million, as well as to invest further in welfare research projects and work with the GBGB.
From a commercial standpoint, the group intends to offer a digital and retail greyhound betting package to ‘best serve racegoers, owners and trainers’, using Entain and ARC’s ownership of nine greyhound tracks – out of a total of 20 throughout the UK.