Officially approved by Greyhound Racing NSW

Visor For Greyhounds

BlackJack wearing the GiaVisor eye protector


This invention relates to a visor for animals that has particular utility in Greyhound Racing.

Although animals have evolved biologically to protect their eyes in their natural habitat, domesticated animals, like humans, live in a modified environment from their natural habitat. Consequently, depending upon the particular environment in which they find themselves in, their eyes may require protection in the same way as humans seek protection for their eyes in the form of glasses, shades, goggles or visors.

Where animals are used in a competitive environment such as racing, it has been found that the competitive performance of the animal can be adversely affected by the surrounding environment, if their eyes are not protected in some way.

For example, in Horse Racing, a blinker arrangement has been developed for horses to shield their eyes from adjacent movement, which can be distracting and affect the performance of certain horses.

Although adaptations such as blinkers have been developed for horse racing, there does not appear to have been any consideration given to any adaptation or protection for the eyes in other competitive and /or commercial animal racing activities. One industry that has had very little consideration given to the performance or welfare of  animals in racing harness, and where innovation may be able to improve performance, is that of Greyhound Racing.

In Greyhound Racing, in the majority of races, the dog that gets to the front remains in the lead, and it is rare for a dog running behind the pack to move through the pack to lead and win a race. It is even more rare for a dog that has led and drops behind into the pack,  to “kick on” another time and regain the lead to win a race.

It has been observed, however, that a lot of sand and grit gets thrown behind in a tight pack of dogs when racing, and it can take trainers several days after a race to remove sand and grit from in and around the eyes of a dog that has been caught behind the pack in a race.

It would seem, from evidence, that the proliferation of sand and grit being thrown by leading dogs in a pack would be a deterrent to the performance of a greyhound that initially trails the pack, and may be a contributing factor at least for a quick box dog getting a poor start, rarely being able to win a race from the rear of a pack.

Accordingly, there would appear to be an unmet need for providing some form of eye protection to greyhounds when racing, to shield their eyes from flying sand and grit with a view to improving their performance and consistency.

Notice the eyes of the greyhounds at the front of the pack compared to the greyhounds at the back of the pack, the sand is impairing the vision of the greyhounds at the back (refer to gallery)

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector is specifically designed to provide eye protection to dogs that are in competition with each other as is with Greyhound Racing.

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector is specially designed from a flexible transparent sheet of plastic, is flexible and will not break if an impact were to occur in race conditions.

The opposing ends of the sheet have fastening means fixedly attached by adhesive or some other bonding arrangement. The fastening means adopted in the product developed to date is in the form of hook and loop fastenings, such as sold under the Trademark Velcro.  Each fastener comprises a hook set and loop set component that is attached to one end of the sheet and another hook set and loop set component is attached to the other end of the sheet.

The frame, as shown in figure 1 and 2 of the drawings, comprises the standard wire frame muzzle that is fixedly attached to the head of a racing greyhound and is a compulsory accessory for greyhounds to wear in racing harness.

The upper wire segment extends around the face and nose of the dog and provides a frame portion around which the projecting part of each tab can wrap and secure itself to the corresponding strip at each end of the sheet. In this manner, the sheet is curved around in an arched manner to form the visor as shown in figures 1 and 2 of the drawings.

When fastening the sheet to the frame in order to form the GiaVisor ™ eye protector, the shorter side of the sheet is disposed towards the front of the muzzle and the longer is disposed towards the rear of the muzzle. In this manner, the arch shape of the GiaVisor ™ eye protector tapers towards the nose to follow the contour of the head of the dog when fitted and optimise protection from flying sand and dirt and when racing in rainy and windy conditions.

Consequently the visibility of the eyes of the dog through the GiaVisor ™ eye protector is maintained, whilst simultaneously providing protection to the eyes.

It is believed that once dogs become accustomed to the protection afforded by the GiaVisor ™ eye protector, they will become less intimidated by racing through flying sand/dirt and allow for enhanced performance during the race, where being located back in the pack they will not experience the same detrimental effect as is presently the case. Further, once the GiaVisor ™ eye protector is accepted as a proven ameliorative device for Greyhounds when racing, it is envisaged that the GiaVisor ™ eye protector will become a “noted gear change” within the Greyhound Racing Industry, similar to the situation within the horse racing industry with blinkers, tongue ties, nose rolls and winkers, etc.

Particular features of the GiaVisor ™ eye protector are as follows:

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector provides eye protection to the greyhound from flying sand or grit when racing through the pack.

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector shields the greyhounds’ eyes in raining or windy conditions.

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector is easy to apply and remove from the standard wire muzzle used in Australia and New Zealand and can be adapted to the nylon muzzle where approved in those countries.

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector is available in 3 sizes to cater for small greyhounds through to larger greyhounds. The colour of the Velcro ™ fastenings determines the different sizes EG:

White – Small
Black – Medium
Beige – Large

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector can be custom made to suit any muzzle size.

The GiaVisor ™ eye protector will be better understood in the light of the following description of one embodiment. The description is made with reference to the following drawings. Wherein:

Protection of the racing greyhound’s eyes and confidence are the key factors with the usage of the GiaVisor ™ eye protector.

GiaVisor ™ eye protector is proudly an all Australian Invention and Family run Business. The GiaVisor ™ eye protector has been developed and tested in Australia. The GiaVisor ™ eye protector is handcrafted using all Australian products (with the exception of the VELCRO ™ fastener which is a product of USA) purchased within Australia from Australian companies.

Note: The GiaVisor ™ eye protector is the subject of a pending Patent and a Registered Design. © Dennis Gialanze 2011 copyright. Unauthorised copying prohibited. All rights reserved.