NEWS

PPC Stars Top Night Out At Owlerton

A few weeks ago, we offered a night to remember to some of the members of PPC Stars, our new digital marketing partner. The aim of the night was to show them a little of what life at Owlerton is really like and, by the sounds of their feedback, we sure didn’t fail to deliver! See their post below:

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Tony, Director of PPC Stars, says “It had been years since I had been to the dogs, so I had forgotten just how much fun it is!”.

Owlerton Stadium was an exciting new venture for the rest of the team here at PPC Stars. To be entirely honest, none of us knew quite what to expect, but we were all blown away by what we discovered when we were there.
The first thing which impressed us was not just the appearance of the building and its interiors, but the incredibly friendly faces and vibrant personalities who were there to greet us and offer their expertise throughout the night. Every single person who served us was so thoughtful and friendly. Absolutely everything was covered, including wonderful characters who came and took our bets from the table (while also offering some racing insight too!) We couldn’t have asked for any more.

 

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Tony is a local lad and after living down south for some time, he was excited to get back to his roots and see how much the dogs had changed: My favourite part was how good the service was and how friendly everyone was. Being sat down, fed and watered all evening was great and even having someone take your bets made it a super experience all round! It’s changed a lot since I last visited, the Panorama Restaurant has been extended and renovated and now seats about 300 people. And apparently there are more changes to come with a new banqueting suite and executive boxes replacing the current ones. When I left I was buzzing as we all had such a good laugh and as the casino was next door it was hard not to go in. All in all a cracking evening!” – Smiling faces all round!

One aspect of the evening which we were all delighted with was the high quality of the food provided in the restaurant. As Emma said, although she didn’t really know what to expect, she expected the food to be stereotypical‘stadium food’ and was by no means expecting a gourmet meal. However, she was blown away with the high quality standards of food and the brilliant, efficient, service that we received. Emma enthused that she ‘didn’t realise how amazing the view would be’ and we all certainly agreed. The restaurant was situated so close to the racetrack that we could see all that was going on and felt like we were still wrapped up in the excitement of the atmosphere, watching our dogs racing and placing our bets from the table. We didn’t have to get up and move or even think of beginning to queue for anything, meaning we could focus entirely on our chosen dogs and the fun we were having. Even our drinks were delivered straight to our tables!

Another aspect of the evening which impressed everybody was the care and welfare of the greyhounds themselves. From the moment we arrived, we saw volunteers just inside the turnstiles with their beautiful adopted greyhounds. They were selling tip sheets for 50p with all the money going to the Sheffield Greyhound Trust. They told us how Owlerton Stadium donate a massive amount of money to the charity and are really involved with the re-homing of the retired dogs.

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The greyhounds on the track looked just as happy as the retired ones at the turnstiles. The racing greyhounds were all in absolutely tip top condition. Not only did the owners and trainers all appear to care deeply for their beloved animals, but we could see that the wonderful team at Owlerton also felt the same way. Owlerton care for the dogs racing with them all the way through their careers, from beginning to end. They offer a lot of help, information and assistance with the aftercare and rehoming of the dogs once their careers have finished. The fact that they’re cared for all the way through their lives is really pleasing to see.

Another thing worth noting is the Owlerton welfare scheme. In the unfortunate case that a greyhound suffers a serious or career ending injury whilst racing, Owlerton understands that the owners may not be in a financial position to face huge vets fees.  Therefore, if this happens, Owlerton step in and pay for the vets fees in order to ensure that all dogs receive the best veterinary care available, and then pay for the kennelling until the greyhound is able to be taken in to the Sheffield Greyhound Trust scheme, where it will be found a forever home.  There’s so much care for these dogs all the way through, it’s lovely to see.

Well, what an experience! We can safely say that we would definitely go back and each one of us had an absolutely incredible time.

Below are the full quotes from some of the team, summarising their night at the stadium!

Enrique Schmidt: “Before I spent the evening with my new friends at Owlerton I wasn’t sure how I felt about dog racing as a sport, having never experienced being at the dogs before. I had the misconception that the welfare of the dogs was overlooked. How wrong was I?! The care for the dogs we saw and the love the owners had for them was overwhelming. What’s more, the dogs each looked like they were really enjoying themselves, they lived for the run they were doing! I had heard people whispering that a dog race could be ‘fixed’ when I mentioned this is where I was going; however I am happy to report that having spent an evening at Owlerton I can see this is absolutely impossible! One comment was that the greyhounds are fed more food to make them heavier and slow them down. The managing director, John Gilburn explained to me how the greyhounds are weighed before and after a race and the weight of the dog can not vary by more than 1 kilo since their last race, as well as other strict rules making cheating next to impossible.

The entire atmosphere of the place was not only upbeat and exciting, but also welcoming and hugely educational for somebody like myself who knew absolutely nothing when I arrived. One person who really stood out to me was a lovely lady called Annie who told me she had been working at the stadium for 29 years! She was selling bets whilst giving us an overview of each of the dogs and was so helpful and kind. Her 29 years of working there tell me not only a lot about herself and her dedication to the company, but also tells me that it must be a really nice place to work.

I came away with some great memories of the lovely people I met and the beautiful dogs I watched race, as they did what they do best. I really hope to come back and visit Owlerton again soon!”

Trainers

Emma Breedon: “I loved it at Owlerton! Really I did!

I didn’t necessarily know what to expect if I am honest. However, what I think was not clear was what a great, fun experience the stadium provides. Knowing we would be in the restaurant was great, but I didn’t realise how amazing the view would be. You are really close to the races so you don’t miss any of the atmosphere. The food was delicious. I wasn’t going there expecting a gourmet meal but I was really blown away and impressed by how fantastic the food was! It really was incredible.

What I didn’t expect either was the high level of service. Wonderful characters come up to your table and take your bets so you don’t have to leave the table. No one was ever lumbered with going off to place bets, so you can really enjoy your night out with your friends.

Drinks were excellent, again this comes right to your table (let’s face it, who likes bar line-ups?!?!)

I was surprised I didn’t go home with a lovely Greyhound either! There is a lot of focus on the welfare of greyhounds which I think is really important for those in the industry and often overlooked. One of the things I was most impressed with was the fact that the unfortunate case that a greyhound suffers a serious or career ending injury whilst racing, Owlerton step in and pay for the vets fees in order to ensure that all dogs receive the best veterinary care available, and then pay for the kennelling until the greyhound is able to be taken in to the Sheffield Greyhound Trust scheme, where it will be found a forever home.  There’s so much care for these dogs all the way through, it’s lovely to see and sets a really high standard within their industry.

Overall, although I wasn’t sure what to expect, what I got was really impressive. It was a great night out with friends, fantastic food and drinks and the service was incredible. I cannot wait to return and would highly recommend it to anyone for a #TopNightOut!

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