Caption: Stephanie and Sam Tyler, with Henry, 3, Davey, seven months, and She’s a Collinda.
By DAVID BRASCH
STEPHANIE Tyler and her husband Sam knew greyhound racing well enough a few years ago to listen to the wise heads of her family, Stephanie’s dad Lawrence and uncle Don.
And, just as well they did.
Lawrence and Don Cameron have spent a lifetime in “dogs”, right back to 1974 when one of the first greyhounds they raced was Miss Valencia, a bitch with the now-obscure pedigree of being by Bandwagon John from Boston High.
Miss Valencia is the eighth mother of a bitch called Collinda Patty (Zambora Brockie-She’s A Collinda by Cosmic Chief) who recently broke champion Dyna Double One’s Sandown 595m track record with a 33.56 performance.
She then won the Group 3 Speed Star 600m at The Meadows for trainer Jason Thompson.
Stephanie and Sam bred, reared and educated the bitch before realising their Boisdale property in Gippsland was far too out of the way for them to do her training justice, so off she went to premier trainer Thompson.
In the many years since Lawrence and Don started out with Miss Valencia way back in the early 1970s, the greyhound family has provided the Cameron family with some great highs and some distinct lows.
It was their advice some time ago that prompted Stephanie and Sam to continue trying.
“Dad and my uncle always told us that if a line goes amiss, it could very well come back in the fifth generation,” Stephanie said.
Words of wisdom for sure, but in the meantime the lows can be difficult to handle and continuing with a damline through those hard times can be hard to cop.
Stephanie and Sam had to be brave to continue. Take those eight generations of the damline under review.
Of course Collinda Patty is a racetrack star.
Her mother She’s A Collinda won eight races and earned $35,000 from wins at Sandown and The Meadows and, like her daughter, she too got 600m successfully.
But, her mother Collinda Belle raced just four times for a third at Sale and a fall which ended her career.
Collinda Belle’s mother Collinda Angel was unraced.
Collinda Angel’s mother Peggy Collinda started seven times for one win at Sale.
Which brings us to the fifth generation back from Collinda Patty, a bitch called Collinda Dream (mother of Peggy Collinda) who raced 49 times for seven wins and 18 placings, winning at Traralgon, Cranbourne and Sale, and she was placed at Olympic Park.
Further from this, Collinda Dream was a daughter of Collinda Daisy who raced 56 times for 22 wins and she was a multiple distance winner at Sandown and Olympic Park. Collinda Daisy was by Rockfield Chief-Collinda Belle and Belle was Riviera Tiger-Miss Valencia.
Dad Lawrence and Uncle Don were greyhound breeders long before Stephanie was born.
“Uncle” Neville Gieshan was one of the best dog men of his era and he was a driving force in the family.
“Dad and Uncle Don got disheartened and they thought they had lost the line,” Stephanie said.
She and husband Sam, an electrician but bloodlines fanatic, bought 16 acres in Gippsland to give greyhound racing a fair dinkum try.
“We’ve got 16 kennels, six pup yards, a 400 metre straight, two competition runs, bull ring and galloping paddock,” she said. “We had to put it all into operation when we came here.”
Along the way Stephanie and Sam also produced two children of their own, now three-year-old Henry and seven-month-old Davey.
The greyhound racing passion still burns in Lawrence Cameron who heads out to Gippsland to take up his position as “slave labour” … Stephanie’s words.
“Dad’s been great,” she said. “He comes out all the time and does the mowing and the like. He’s thrilled and loves the dogs.
“Even Uncle Don will pop in every now and then.”
She’s A Collinda, or Ziggy as she is known at home, recently had a one-pup litter to Whiskey Riot and being a 12-month seasonal bitch Sam is working of getting the OK for her to have a fourth litter and mapping out who to put her to.
Her first litter, to Fernando Bale, produced only dogs so Stephanie and Sam missed out of a future broodbitch. Not so in the Brockie litter and Collinda Patty, as a Group winner and record breaker is of course a broodbitch of the future. Two other bitches from this litter are future broodbitches as well.
Stephanie and Sam are a young couple bringing up a family and establishing a greyhound property. They realise huge stud fees for the greats of the industry are mostly out of the question.
That’s where Sam comes in and he is happy to take a gamble on star race dogs not yet proven at stud.
“We don’t sell our pups,” Stephanie said. “So that is an extra to add to bringing up our family.”
She said She’s A Collinda wasn’t a good mother to her pups, but a great one.
It is a theme found in many quality producing broodbitches.
Sam is already forward planning for the Collinda damline.
Lawrence and Don Cameron are understandably proud this young couple listened to their words of wisdom so long ago. It’s given them a Group star and record breaker.