The Girls Excel in the Training Ranks at Hove!

DOREEN WALSH (1975-2018)

Doreen Walsh, who had enjoyed a sixty-six year association with greyhound racing and is Hove’s second longest-serving trainer, sent out her final runners at the track in December, 2018, owing to ill-health and the replacement at her Albourne range was long-term assistant Stuart Maplesden.

Walsh, who began a long career in greyhound racing when joining Hove handler Reg Birch in 1952, eventually linked up as head girl to George Curtis in 1967 and she became the first woman trainer in the history of the stadium when taking over a position vacated by the retiring Fred Lugg on New Year’s Day, 1975.


Eileen Hill, who briefly took over the kennels at Albourne from the retiring Arthur Hancock at the end of 1976 before the imminent arrival of Derek Knight, is perhaps best remembered for her association with the outstanding stayer Pass The Buck.

EILEEN HILL (left): She briefly took over the kennel from retiring Arthur Hancock at the end of 1976.

DOREEN BARWICK (1992-2002)

Doreen Barwick, 76, began her career in greyhound racing as a kennelhand to Gunner Smith in 1961 and succeeded the legendary handler as a flly-fledged trainer when her first runner – Hurricane Hunter - appeared on the racecard on January 2, 1992.

Barwick will always be remembered for sending out 33-1 rank outsider Dickie Black to land the 2000 National Hurdle at Hove and her husband Colin, who won the 1983 Regency with Aquila Bay, was a contract trainer at Hove from 2003 until his retirement due to ill health in 2010.

MARIA COLLINS (1995-2022)

Maria Collins, who initially learned her craft under the tutelage of former Hove trainer John Rouse, joined Hove in 1995 and enjoyed a highly successful period in the training ranks at Hove until she handed over the reins to assistant trainer Lee Pearce at the end of 2023.

Among the best greyhounds Collins trained at Hove during a 28-year association with Hove were top open-race stayer Bobs Riband, 2004 Regency winner Normandy Boy and Swift Ribena.

WENDY SHORT (2003-2021)

Wendy Short, a highly-respected trainer at Hove for three decades, relinquished her license at the end of 2021 and the news marked the end of an era following a 19-year tenure at the track.

Short, who succeeded her mentor John Rouse on New Year’s Day, 2003, sent out two winners at her first meeting as a fully-fledged handler at Hove – Orient Lady and Snowy Mountain.

Short, a genuine animal lover and a big advocate of greyhound welfare, was initially attached to Portsmouth and she also gained further experience with former long-standing Hove trainer Maria Collins.


Norah McElistrimm, 76, a fully-fledged handler for almost fifty years after succeeding her father Paddy in 1974, is one of the most popular characters in the sport and renowned for her prowess with hurdlers, most notably the great Bobcol.

McEllistrim, whose family hailed from Ballymacelligott, near Tralee, in Ireland, can be rated alongside Linda Jones and Linda Mullins as one of the most successful female trainers in the history of greyhound racing.

NORAH MCELLISTRIM: The hugely received the prestigious 'Lifetime Achievement Award' from the GWA in 2024.

In March, 2012, McEllistrim, whose long-time partner Brian Harrison was a highly successful Greyhound Sales organiser, vacated her beloved Wimbledon after a 38-year association with the Plough Lane venue to replace the departing Brian Clemenson at Hove.


2015 was a memorable year for June Harvey, as she guided the magnificent Fizzypop Buddy to victory in the final of the Greyhound St Leger at Wimbledon and the July 2013 whelp subsequently scored by nine lengths from Deanridge Pennys in the Ballyregan Bob Memorial Trophy over Hove’s 695 metres.

Former Poole trainer June Harvey, ably assisted by husband Tony and various members of her family, won the 2015 Golden Crest (450m, Poole) with Aimnfire and Clares Kyletaun proved a worthy successor to Fizzypop Buddy with big-race wins in the Ballyregan Bob Memorial and Coral Regency.

SAMANTHA WEST (2019-2021)

The glamorous Samantha West, the daughter of Teresa Dornan, achieved a strike-rate of higher than twenty per cent with her graded runners at Hove in 2020 and 2021 and her three-year spell paved the way for a successful training operation within her family.

ALMA KEPPIE (2019-2022)

Alma Keppie, whose family trained greyhounds at Poole in the 1960s, was synonymous with the ‘Fletchwood’ prefix and she sent out Stun Gun to land the 2016 Sussex Puppy Trophy at Hove prior to securing a training appointment at the Sussex track three years later.

Keppie, who had operated from a New Forest base since the 1970s, cites Eden Rumble (2013 Ladbroke Golden Jacket finalist) and Cabra Scooby (runner-up to Viking Jack in 2014 Ladbrokes Gold Cup final) as the most talented greyhounds that she has trained and the New Forest-based handler achieved her best seasonal tally with 190 winners from 1053 graded runners at Hove in 2021.

GEMMA DAVIDSON (2020-2023)

Gemma Davidson, whose family is steeped in greyhound racing history, was the recipient of the prestigious 2006 Kennelhand of the Year award and she achieved her first major big-race triumph through the outstanding Plane Daddy in the 2010 Grand National at Wimbledon.

Davidson, who joined Hove from Crayford in 2020, has also gained big-race wins courtesy of Plane Daddy (2011 Champion Hurdle), Zenas Boy (2013 Coral Sprint), Coconut Raver (2018 Kent County Hurdle) and Skip Mayo (2019 Guys & Dolls).


30-year-old Belinda Green took over from her father – Arun – in 2018, and this very popular individual is enjoying a meteoric rise in the training ranks with her most important big-race success to date coming in last year’s Sussex Cup final with Ninja Kerry at Hove.

BELINDA GREEN: The ambitious Hove trainer has been enjoying considerable success in Category One events.

Green, who transferred to Hove from sister-track Crayford in 2020, is hugely ambitions and, ably assisted by husband Gary Whittington, her success story has gained impetus with big-race wins courtesy of Bradys Bullet (Puppy Derby), Betsys Bullet (Brighton Belle), Low Pressure (Kent St Leger) and Bombout Bullet (National Sprint).


Theresa Dornan spent two years of her training career - 2021/2022 – at Hove and, synonymous with the ‘Ragtime’ prefix, her Ragtime Arthur (12-1) went agonisingly close to landing a major open-race title when beaten a short-head by Aayamza Royale in the final of the 2021 Coral Regency.

Dornan, who topped the Trainers’ chart at Hove in 2022 with a strike-rate of 21.80%, enjoyed considerable success with the prolific-scoring Ballynabee Lucky and her Ragtime Billy was one of Hove’s top sprinters in 2021.