Sandown's Toongabbie Lodge Ready For Business

Welcome to the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club’s field of dreams, Toongabbie Lodge, an all purpose greyhound centre of excellence.

Adam Dobbin

6 July 2021

Welcome to the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club’s field of dreams.

It’s name Toongabbie Lodge – an all purpose greyhound racing utopia situated on 125 vast acres just outside Traralgon in southeastern Victoria.

Ready for business, Toongabbie Lodge is a true centre of excellence, providing best practice services in whelping, rearing, education and adoption.

“What we’ve looked to create is a whole of life cycle facility which provides quality care at every juncture of a greyhound’s life,” Sandown GRC CEO Adrian Scott said.

“All aspects of the property are state of the art and have been built on best practice standards. It’s there to support the industry and offer an alternative but it’s by no means the finished product yet.

“The highest of animal welfare standards is the key pillar to everything that we do at Toongabbie Lodge.”

It was back in 2018 that then, Sandown CEO Greg Miller, and his board decided that the always progressive club would pivot away from just its standard business of racing and create a market leading greyhound facility.

“It was Greg’s brainchild and a first for a greyhound racing club,” Scott said.

“And we’ve carried on that vision in recent years. The spend has been considerable but the club looks at it as an investment into the sport’s future above all else.

“We’re extremely proud with how it’s all come together but it’s only the beginning. Down the track we want to put time and resources into research around rehabilitation and injury prevention.

“Anything that can help the future of the industry is on the table.”

Like any business, Scott is fully aware that you are as only as good as the people you have working for you.

“Graeme Cinnamond is the farm manager and we couldn’t have found a better fit,” Scott said.

“He’s been involved in the sport for over 30 years and before calling Toongabbie Lodge home worked at Sandown Park. His knowledge of all facets of the industry is profound and he’s very much invested into our new venture.”

Scott has also secured the services of Deb Brown who will lead the way in respect to Toongabbie Lodge’s retirement and rehoming initiatives.

“Deb’s the ideal person for the role,” Scott said.

“Her background is in animal behaviour and Deb’s really passionate about taking up this new challenge.

“Rehoming is an important element of the lifecycle of a greyhound so it’s an integral part of Toongabbie Lodge and it’s future direction.”

While the official opening of Toongabbie Lodge is slated for November, bookings for the facility have commenced.

“We invite anyone interested to contact Graeme and tour the facility if they wish,” Scott said.

“The pricing model we’ve come up with I think people will agree is competitive and any profits generated will be returned into the facility.

“It’s also important we have a strong community aspect to what we’re doing and creating employment pathways as well.

“It’s an exciting time not just for Sandown but the industry in general.”