Greyhound racing is a popular sport in several countries around the world, but this is primarily so in the UK. However, in Scotland, there remains only one greyhound racing track – namely Thornton, near Kirkcaldy, Fife – a surprising fact given the sport’s popularity in neighbouring regions. Sports fans, especially those who love watching and speculating on greyhound racing, may find the answer rather intriguing.

The History Behind Greyhound Racing

For more than a century, greyhound racing has been a well-liked sport in Scotland. The first greyhound track in the country debuted in the early 1900s, and by the 1930s, the nation had over 20 tracks in total. The activity drew a sizeable audience and provided track owners with a sizeable source of income.  Greyhound racing, however, began to face competition from other forms of entertainment, such as television and movies, in the 1960s and 1970s. By the 1990s, only a few tracks remained, substantially reducing the sport’s appeal in Scotland. There is still one track in Scotland, Thornton, and greyhound racing odds from Betfair show that the Fife-based circuit remains an active and popular one.

While greyhound racing thrived in the UK between the 1920s to 1960s, it was never as popular in Scotland as it is in England. North of the border, there was a different sporting culture with football and rugby taking more prominence for a long time. Additionally, the country’s colder and wetter climate as highlighted by the Scottish Daily Express, meant that the tracks would get muddier, making racing conditions more difficult for the dogs. This led to a smaller market and fewer dog breeders as the climate was deemed an impediment to the sport.

Scotland’s Change in Demographic 

Finally, the closure of the three largest greyhound tracks in Scotland – Powderhall, Shawfield, and Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Stadium – can be attributed to the changing demographic of the country. The shift of population from industrial areas towards suburbs meant the tracks’ prime locations lost their allure and the trend shifted towards sports complexes and leisure parks. 

Thornton Track Remains a Cultural Landmark

Located near Kirkcaldy in Fife, Thornton holds a special place in the hearts of many dog racing enthusiasts. It’s not just Scotland’s last greyhound racing track, but it’s also the oldest in the country. Its rich history and the thrills of dog racing have drawn locals and visitors alike for generations. 

Numerous thrilling events have taken place at the track, during which champion greyhounds attained extraordinary speeds and astounded spectators with their agility. Despite greyhound racing’s declining popularity, the track is still operating and continues to provide a pleasant and thrilling day out for everyone.

Greyhounds Remain As Popular Ever South of the Border

Greyhound racing may seem somewhat outdated to most Scots, but it’s still going strong in England. Watching these lightning-fast canines tear around the track at breakneck speeds is enough to get anyone’s heart racing. Plus, it’s a great excuse to get dressed up and enjoy a day out with friends. With all of these factors in play, it’s no surprise that greyhound racing remains a beloved tradition in some parts of the UK.