PROFILE: Michael Gavan was born in County Mayo, Ireland, March 1905. His name was most respected in greyhound racing circles in his era, where he raised the level and image of the fledgling industry.

HISTORY: After finishing schooling, Gavan ran an automobile rental agency, as well as raising and racing greyhounds as a hobby. After emigrating to the U.S, he secured a position as a foreman in a car rental agency in Newark, New Jersey. He soon succumbed to his primary love, the greyhound, and imported greyhounds from his friends in Ireland. One of the first tracks he competed at was Miami Beach Kennel Club, and then came Atlantic City. He was on hand in 1935 when Massachusetts passed the legalization of pari-mutuel and raced his greyhounds at Taunton. His kennel competed at Wonderland, Taunton, Mile High, Multnomah, Pueblo and numerous other tracks.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Gavan raced greyhounds for a living when the industry had little recognition. He stood for honesty and respectability, and due to his efforts as well as others, the sport’s world began to hold greyhound racing in better regard. He always appeared well dressed, presenting the image of a gentleman. Some of the great greyhounds Joe handled were, SPLENDORED (ON THE LINE-MARIELLA), a finalist in the American Derby of 1957; ROSIE’S GAL, PEACHIE SUE (NO REFUND-SUNFLOWER SUE); and BABY RING (KEY RING-HEADSTRONG), who was a finalist in the American Derby. Joe was a personal friend of Dennis Callaghan. These men were a credit to our then ‘new’ industry.