Kinsley Greyhound Track
Kinsley is situated between Leeds and Doncaster and is described a large village. Dominating the village is a recreational area that contains a football pitch and park on one side of the Wakefield Road and the greyhound track on the other just south of Redland Crescent.
The track had always been a quiet flapper with a mining background built to serve the mining village in 1939. After the war the track could accommodate a maximum of 3,500 spectators but was limited in attracting this amount of patronage due to the fact that there were so many other more prominent tracks in the area at the time.
Independent racing details included the fact that there was a fully licenced bar and racing was conducted on Tuesday and Saturday evenings at 7pm. Trials were held on a Sunday and both five dog handicap and level break races were held over 342, 457 and 700 yards. There was an inside hare and an all grass track with a watering system.
Little changed for decades, yards changed to metres resulting in distances of 315, 422 and 647 and the track changed to all sand in the seventies. Thursday evenings were added to the existing two nights racing.
Changes began to surface in 1985 when John Curran and Keith Murrell took over the running of the track. Improvements were brought in and a general upgrade of the facilities followed. Distances were changed to 100, 260, 330, 460 & 630 metres, an inside Sumner was put in and competition were introduced called the Kinsley Greyhound Derby that offered a staggering £20,000 eclipsing many of the top NGRC races. A computer tote was in operation and twelve bookmakers stood. A vet was in attendance and there were 48 kennels on site and the Jubilee restaurant offered room for 160 covers. The track was beginning to show all the hallmarks of a regulated circuit. There was even a thriving social club open all week.
Despite the significant stature of the track it was not until 2000 that the decision was finally taken to apply for an NGRC licence. John Curran was still in charge and liaised with NGRC chief executive Frank Melville as the move was made. The new distances were 275, 450, 485 and 656 metres. Curran’s business partner was also still Keith Murrell and he would act as Racing Manager until Craig Hunt was brought in to take up the role.
The first meeting was on 15th January 2000 and racing was on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Distances have since changed on two more occasions since and an outside Swaffham hare has been introduced.
In 2002 the Danny Talbot trained Lodgeview Chance scored success when taking the Ladbrokes Gold Cup and in 2010 the track was rewarded by being allocated the 2010 Television Trophy, an event won by Midway Skipper.
In 2011 the Gymcrack was introduced after it switched from Hall Green. The first winner was Nick Colton’s Taranis Rex, a black and white dog that also broke the track record in the process.