PROFILE: Thomas Karsten has had a career in greyhound racing spanning more than 50 years. He has seen the industry change dramatically in that time. Thomas Karsten was added to the PIONEER section in 1985.

HISTORY: In 1932, in Belmont, California, Thomas Karsten found greyhound racing and has made it his life ever since. “When I started out,” explains Karsten,” we used to have ten dog races out of the harness. Betting at that time was illegal so we had the option system of betting, the preferred option and the secondary option”. “The first mechanical rabbit was run on the outside of the track until a man, George Heintz, invented the inside rabbit years later, which we tagged the outlaw.” “When I started racing some of the tracks around the country would run a week and if we got lucky they’d run a month before the sheriff would close them down.”

ACCOMPLISHMENTS: As Thomas Karsten reflects on his years in the greyhound business he says, “I’ve met a lot of great people all over the country and if I had it to do over again I’d do the same thing. In fact, I wish I could do it all over again.”