Herb “Dutch” Koerner
2001 Greyhound Hall of Fame Inductee
Herb “Dutch” Koerner of Hays, Kan. is an accomplished Greyhound breeder, owner and kennel operator who also contributes his time and leadership skills to the industry.
Koerner entered the Greyhound business in the late 1950s as a breeder and developed a state-of-the-art farm operation that has been featured in numerous industry video productions. Nearly 20 years ago, Koerner also became a kennel operator, managing kennels at many racetracks throughout the country.
His Greyhounds are easily recognized by their “Dutch” prefix, with the most famous being Dutch Bahama. Twice named to the All-America Team, Dutch Bahama captured the National Greyhound Association’s Flashy Sir Award, became the nation’s leading sire, and was inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame in 1990. Dutch Delusion also was named to an All-America team. Dutch Dugan won the Biscayne Irish-American, a stake also won previously by his sire, Dutch Bahama.
Over the years, Koerner has had many top sires, including Michigan Jack and Johnny Tango in the 1960s and 1970s, and later Dutch Bahama and Dutch Dugan. The Greyhound Review magazine ranked Dutch Koerner ninth on the list of top breeders of the 20th century.
Koerner continues to be actively involved in his Greyhound enterprises, while also contributing his leadership to the industry. He served on the National Greyhound Association’s board of directors from 1982 through 2000, one of the longest tenures in the association’s nearly century-long history. He also was elected as the Association’s president for the last ten years of that period, the longest consecutive run in that office. His strong leadership and vision were vital to the Association during tough years when the industry faced a number of serious challenges.
During his tenure, Koerner was instrumental in several key programs. He consistently has championed the cause of improving the care given to Greyhounds and enhancing the conditions of their facilities. He supported the American Greyhound Council, a joint effort between the NGA and the American Greyhound Track Operators Association to address animal welfare issues. The NGA’s Inspections Program was improved, uncovering numerous situations where owners were either not caring properly for their Greyhounds or were being dishonest with pedigree records. The sport benefited when these offenders were expelled from the NGA.
As president, Koerner fought tirelessly to improve racing conditions in a number of states. Under his leadership, the NGA allocated significant sums of money to enhance lobbying efforts to benefit the industry. In the 1980s, he was a major personal contributor to the legalization of Greyhound racing in Kansas, Wisconsin and Texas, in addition to his public support in his role as an NGA officer.
During his time as a board member, Koerner was instrumental in improving the NGA grounds and developing the Meet program that continues to flourish.
Koerner has been a staunch supporter of the Hall of Fame program and is a member of the Hall of Fame Club. As NGA board member and president, he assured continued NGA support of the Hall over the years.