Sheffield dog track involved in April Fool's joke

Prank suggested dogs would race in sunglasses

A Sheffield greyhound racing arena teamed up with a local branch of Specsavers for an April Fool's joke published in the local paper.

The Sheffield Star, which was presumably also in on the joke, announced that all dogs entered in races at Owlerton Stadium would begin competing in specially designed sunglasses.

They added that the decision had been after several owners complained that their dogs couldn't see as they were running around the track as a result of glare from the sun.

It said that the track had joined up with the Crystal Peaks Specsavers store to offer sun-proof canine goggles that would not steam up or fall off as the competitors hurtled after the hare in front of a paying public.

Owlerton Stadium managing director John Gilburn was quoted as saying: "We have been noticing for a while that some of the greyhounds have been squinting. We have tried giving them hats or visors to block out the glare, but that's when we realised we should have gone to Specsavers".

With crowd numbers for traditional greyhound racing reportedly on the decline in the UK, this appears to be a novel way for Owlerton to try and pull some punters in. Whether it will prove enough to reverse the trend of players switching to virtual dog racing games is doubtful, but it may provide something of a short term boost among racing fans who will have appreciated the joke.

How many readers fell for the joke is also unclear, but the media must certainly enjoy having some April Fool's fun at their reader's expense.

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