Member Shane Drysdale asked when the Brown Rug changed to the Green. Number 6 the brown changed to the Green rug in January 2003 only in South Australia. I was CEO of the ANZGA shortly after to become Greyhounds Australasia for some reason but that’s another story. New Zealand had changed the six to a green rug on August 1st 2002. Some Australia administrators decided it should happen here. South Australia CEO the late Shane McQueen (a top bloke) led the debate for the change. Victoria led by their CEO John Stephens were bitterly opposed and supported by NSW, Queensland, and Canberra. If I recall it was something about cost. The debate went on for some time quite a few months after starting in 2001. A legal report was called for and I appointed Solicitor John Sharkie to give an adjudication. His finding only exasperated the debate further when he ruled neither one way or the other and his findings were questioned by Ken Norquay WA when tabled at the Annual Meeting in Brisbane 2002. In fact, WA were in favour of the change. Most of the smaller states agreed but it could never be resolved as the two big states had the controlling votes always. What happen in the end South Australia quite simply announced they were going to change and I remember the night well watching the Green go around at Angle Park in race one. Victoria was the last to change in 2004 but had to in the end and we were all finally rid of the horrid Brown rug. No loss, we haven’t missed it.
There have been some classic races won from box six. Four Melbourne Cups three wearing the brown 1970 Chris Dandy, 1986 Legendary Kid, 1998 Rapid Journey and the only winner to wear the green Shanlyn Prince 2007. Bonjase won the Australian Cup in 1995 in the brown and Brett Lee also in the brown won the Australian Cup in 2001 and also won the Warrnambool Classic from the same box. Dashing Corsair won the National Sprint at Cannington in 2008 with the green rug on. While the mighty Fernando Bale wore the green to crack the million in the Adelaide Cup he also won a Traralgon Cup from the six. The 2018 Easter Egg was won by Up Hill Jill with the green rug on.
I would like to thank Shaun Mathieson from GRSA who found the below Survey called for in a Kennel Capers edition 157 from February 2003.
GREEN RUG SURVEY February 2003
Greyhound Racing SA is currently collating research regarding the recently introduced green rug. As you may be aware, GRSA incorporated this change in January of this year and is now seeking opinions from industry participants, punters, stakeholders and, in particular, race callers from all States as to their impression of the green rug as compared to the brown rug. We would be most appreciative if you would advise of your opinion in the section below and return your response to GRSA by Thursday Friday 28th February 2003 Fax: 08 82682870 Mail: PO Box 2352, Regency Park SA 5942