Two Oregon State University researchers, whose studies of canine physiology, injuries and health led to policy changes in greyhound racing as well as other venues, will be inducted this spring into the Greyhound Hall of Fame's pioneer section.
Linda Blythe and A. Morrie Craig, both in OSU's College of Veterinary Medicine, will be recognized this April in Abilene, Kan. Blythe is only the second veterinarian in the history of the hall of fame to be inducted.
In honoring the OSU researchers, the National Greyhound Association praised them for bringing science to greyhound racing: "Their efforts, in and out of the laboratory, have greatly contributed to the sport's credibility, integrity and the quality of care given to canine athletes."
Blythe and Craig begin working with the Oregon Racing Commission in the early 1980s on testing medications, and expanded their research to examine foreign substances found on occasion in the greyhounds' food supply. In particular, they found a compound called procaine, which they determined did not have an impact on the dogs' ability to race. That research led to sweeping changes in racing laws and policies concerning trace "positives," the National Greyhound Association noted.
Craig later established the drug-testing program for the association's national meets, and chronicled detection and clearance protocols for legitimate medication in racing greyhounds.
Blythe took on a project to compile worldwide research on racing greyhounds that resulted in an annual publication of the International Greyhound Research Database, which is used by researchers around the world.
In the early 1990s, the two OSU researchers collaborated on a textbook for greyhound health and care, along with veterinarian James Gannon of Australia. The resulting "Care of the Racing Greyhound," published in 1994, became the best-selling text in the industry. A subsequent sequel, "Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound," was published after the first edition sold out and focused attention on retired greyhounds, which today number about 125,000 in the United States alone.
Both OSU researchers have lectured widely on greyhound health, conducted additional research and consulted with trainers and owners in the United States and abroad. Blythe chairs the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and is former president of the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association. Craig has received numerous honors, including being named Oregon Scientist of the Year in 1996 by the Oregon Academy of Science.