Jenny Bunting

GREYHOUND RACING, especially in the southern region, in 2020 mourned the passing of octogenarian Jenny Bunting, 89, the esteemed founder of the Brighton & Hove Retired Greyhound Trust and animal lover supreme.

The pioneering Jenny was a practicing veterinary surgeon for 20 years and, during an era when it was a particularly male orientated world and immensely difficult for a professional woman to succeed, the fact that she embarked on a career as a fully-fledged vet in Epsom, Surrey, in 1972 was a colossal achievement.

Always at the forefront of innovative scientific developments Jenny, whose primary role in her chosen field was to safeguard the health and welfare of animals, also achieved lavish praise for nurturing the skills of young apprentices and she spawned a new generation of students with her tutelage and expertise.

Bolney resident Jenny, who initially had greyhounds with multiple champion trainer George Curtis, had a penchant for fast cars, fast horses and fast greyhounds – she invariably turned up in her sports car to various dwellings when visiting her patients!

The RSPCA - it was founded in 1824 and is the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the world – was very close to the heart of Jenny and she gave tireless voluntary work for one of the largest charities in the United Kingdom.

She was also at the helm in the day-to-day operation of a thoroughbred breeding stud - Jenny had a great passion for the equine athlete and, in her younger days, she was a keen rider.

Jenny, a regular visitor to Coral Brighton & Hove Stadium, annually rehomed over 100 greyhounds from her purpose-built kennels at Twineham, a village and civil parish located 5 miles to the west of Burgess Hill, in West Sussex,

JENNY BUNTING (left): The esteemed founder of the Brighton & Hove Greyhound Retired Greyhound Trust.

Jenny relentless searched the pages of local newspapers to locate greyhounds as ‘free to a good home’ and she was deservedly the recipient of a lifetime achievement award for her outstanding commitment to greyhound welfare at the prestigious National Ceva Animal Welfare Awards in 2018.

Jenny, whose deeds were extensively acclaimed in the welfare sector of the sport, invariably had a runner or two on the Hove kennel strength for several decades and Derek Knight, her long-serving trainer, recently paid tribute to an extremely popular owner at Albourne.

“Jenny was an unsung hero in greyhound racing, a special lady and she was a very supportive long-term owner in the kennel,” he said. “She put a lot of her own money and time into the sport and, to her great credit, she would always vet the potential retirement homes of an ex-racer.”

Significantly, the compassionate Jenny was able to provide expert veterinary care to greyhounds in her kennels, thus saving thousands of pounds for the RGT in expenses and also gave considerable financial aid to the charity at some personal outlay.

Jenny, held in tremendous affection by people from many walks of life, hailed from a more courteous and chivalrous age – we may never see her like again.

God bless.

Written by Patrick Kelly