The National Coursing Club (NCC) was formed in 1858 and has controlled greyhound coursing since then, in the same way that the Jockey Club controls racing. Coursing however existed in an organised form well before that. The first public coursing club was formed at Swaffham, Norfolk, in 1776 – and still exists today. The classic event of Coursing, the Waterloo Cup, has been run at Altcar near Liverpool since 1836. Its creator, William Lynn, could be credited with inventing the idea of the ‘sporting break’ holiday – proprietor of the Waterloo Hotel, in Liverpool, he originally ran the coursing meeting in tandem with a little local steeplechase he ran at nearby Aintree – now called the Grand National!
In 1882 the NCC created the original Greyhound Stud Book, which it has administered ever since. From that date the breed was “closed”. All greyhounds running on the coursing field and later on the track had to be registered in a Stud Book. The intense competition of Victorian coursing produced a remarkable creature with classic looks, dazzling speed, and bottomless courage. All the greyhounds running today on track and field in Britain, Ireland, America and Australia trace directly to Waterloo Cup winners of the past like Farndon Ferry.
The NCC appoints the ‘Keeper’ of the Greyhound Stud Book, who is generally the Secretary of the NCC as well. There have been only nine incumbents of this post since 1882; the current and ninth holder, Liz Mort, took over when her predecessor Charles Blanning, who had held the post since 1988, retired in 2007. We register all British-bred greyhounds, whether they are going on to race on the track, go coursing (for which currently they have to go to Ireland), or be kept as pets. The Greyhound Stud Book is published annually, and incorporates illustrated articles of interest as well as complete lists of greyhounds registered during the year and their breeding.