Meet the country's youngest professional greyhound trainer from Doncaster
Stainforth lad Lee MacManus is quick out of the traps in the world of greyhound training.
The 21-year-old has become the youngest professional greyhound trainer in the country, according to the Racing Post.
And his career has got off to a flying start – with three winners from his first six runners!
“I couldn’t have wished for a better start,” Lee told the Free Press.
“When the first winner w ent in I was so emotional and I was literally in tears. And they all came off safe and sound which is the main thing of course. It’s all about their welfare.”
MacManus has taken charge of half of the Haggswood racing kennel in Stainforth which provides runners to Doncaster. He worked as a kennelhand and assistant trainer with Kenny Bowman before being granted his full licence last month.
MacManus was keen to thank racehorse trainer Ronald Thompson, who owns the Haggswood yard, for his support.
He also credits former Haggswood trainer Anneliese Thompson, who recently switched careers and moved into the media, for sparking his interest in the sport.
“Anneliese gave me a bit of work when I was 14 walking the dogs and whatnot, and then Kenny Bowman, on the other side of the kennel, took me on full time,” Lee told the Racing Post.
“I got licenced and after two years of racing, which is really where the fun is, Kenny made me head kennelhand.
“He was confident I could do a job as he’d seen me in the yard and then after another three years he asked me if I wanted to be assistant trainer. He basically got me from the bottom to where I am now and I really appreciate what both he and Anneliese have done for me.
“To be honest I wasn’t really into the dogs until I got into the racing side of it but I know every single dog and I found that I wanted to be here more than anything.
“I’m only allowed a maximum of 30 dogs for the first six months. At the moment I’ve got 23.
“I suppose I’ll now be in competition with Kenny but on the best of terms! He’s taught me everything, from the injury side, racing weights, health and safety and being professional. You’ve got to put in to get out.”