Riverside Kennels is a family run business led by Graham Holland and ably assisted by his wife Nicky and family, Christopher, Timmy and Rachel.
Set in the heart of the greyhound country in Co.Tipperary overlooking the River Suir, Riverside Kennels is a purpose built greyhound training and breeding facility. Incorporating kenneling for in excess of 40 dogs and 7 large pup rearing paddocks. It also boasts a 225mtr gallop and over 2 acres of turn out fields.
Building Riverside Kennels from an empty plot of land when moving over from the UK in 2002 we started out with a small group of our own dogs, with the addition of a few previous UK owners placing dogs in our care. The kennels soon grew into a leading establishment in the highly competitive Irish greyhound scene.
Graham’s reputation, and continued success, as a trainer at the top of the game has seen him acquire many owners over the years from all around the world. From the UK and Irish owners to those based in Holland and Australia.
Learn more from Graham, Nicky & the kennels
The UK Career
Graham was born into the greyhound game with his father, and his grandfather before him being heavily involved with the sport. Leaving school at 16, Graham went straight to work as a kennelhand for Randy Singleton, who trained at the famous White City and was based at the renowned ‘Northaw’ Complex. Graham moved kennels and worked his way up to head kennelhand for Jill and Gordon Holt where he was lucky enough to have looked after some of the best greyhounds of the era, the likes of Foxwatch (St Leger Winner), Precious Times (Fastest Bitch ever at White City) and the famous Whisper Wishes (At the Holt’s before moving on to Charlie Coyle).
After taking some time out from the sport for four years to pursue a career in the building trade, Graham was lured back to the family home in the South of England and subsequently, greyhounds in 1992. Following a hugely successful spell on the independant circuit in the UK, Graham applied for and obtained a Professional Trainers licence in the September and immediately became attached to Portsmouth track. At this time Graham met wife to be Nicky. During his time at Portsmouth Graham had some very good dogs in his care, the likes of Mickos Swan who was superb at Wembley against the country’s finest racers. Injury prevented the dog from making major headlines. One For Tarbert was a Portsmouth grader when joining the kennels but Graham improved her beyond all known ability and took her to the Wimbledon St Leger final. She also formed the base brood for Riverside Kennels’ breeding lines for the the last 10 years.
Poole soon opened and Graham moved to the new track which was only a short drive from the kennels. It was a real boost for the kennels being so close and Graham soon established himself as the track’s champion trainer. He set the bar for things to come on the opening night at the track when turning out 8 winners before, amazingly, repeating the feat the following week. Being the track’s champion trainer soon had it’s drawbacks and found himself moving onto Oxford Stadium where the opportunities for his higher grade dogs were better than at the current track of Poole. Once again, the kennels soon made their mark at the circuit and it wasn’t long before they found themselves having to look for a greater challenge, this time onto one of the UK’s finest tracks; Hove. In 2000, Graham decided to take Outlaw Spice Boy over for the Irish Derby, where he won his first round heat. As well as having a runner, Graham and Nicky took the opportunity to investigate the possibility of moving to the Emerald Isle.
Moving To Ireland
Following the visits to Ireland for the Derby, Graham and Nicky started to seriously consider a move to Ireland. The commitments to Hove, which was nearly two hours away from their kennels, a young family growing up and the feeling that he was more of a van driver than a greyhound trainer influenced the eventual decision to take the plunge and set up home in Golden, Co.Tipp in May 2002.
Moving over with a handful of dogs and a couple of litters of pups they decided to purchase a seven acre plot of land overlooking the River Suir and setup the kennels exactly as they wanted them. This has resulted in two kennel ranges for over 40 dogs, a whelping block, seven puppy runs, a 225 meter sand gallop and two acres of fields for the dogs to enjoy their freedom. It was a hard couple of years while the house and kennels were built but Graham’s hard work and dedication to his dogs and owners has paid huge dividends with the kennels’ rise to one of Ireland’s most successful greyhound training establishments of recent times.
The kennel have won nearly every top prize in the sport in Ireland and in 2013 came close to winning the largest prize in the sport, The Irish Derby, when Cabra Buck finished a gallant runner up. A full list of the kennels achievements can be viewed on the Achievements Page.