Richard's first encounter with greyhounds and Burhill kennels was in his school days when working for his grandad at weekends and during school holidays, and started full time for his father in December1986. Richard took over the trainers licence from his father in 2008 and has already trained two classic finalists, Ravello Drive an unlucky 2nd in the 2008 Oaks and Victoria Falls winner of the 2011 Grand National with more aimed at Classic races within 2014. Richard has acquired an immense wealth of experience and knowledge in training greyhounds from two of the sports great masters and along with Anne Mahon (assistant trainer) who has worked for three generations of the Rees dynasty they make a fantastic team.
Richards Father Philip worked for his father throughout his training career and was assistant trainer until he took over the reins after the 1976 Greyhound Derby at White City and became an NGRC trainer.
Soon after taking up the helm, Philip won the 1978 Puppy Derby with Purdys Pursuit and also earned himself a place in the Guinness book of records when Mondays Bran set a world record of 28.96 over 500 meters when winning the 1979 Sussex Cup.
During his time as trainer Philip won 6 Springbok titles the first in 1978 with Super Hunter, three Essex Vases, the Brighton Belle three times, the Puppy Derby again with Black Gem Charm in 1996 also proving successful in the 1997 Juvenile Championship. Gis A Smile took the Champion Hurdle in 1994 in addition to breaking several track records in jumps races over four bends. Other greyhounds Philip enjoyed success with included Lisnakill Wish, who he trained for leading racehorse handler Jack Berry, the brutally fast Captains Trail,
richly talented litter-brothers Trixies Wish and Jolly Joker and high-class bitch Be Bopa Lola, who reached the 1996 Derby final and 1997 Oaks decider.
Philip trained many more winners but the highlight of his career was following in his father's footsteps in winning the 1985 Greyhound Derby. Pagan Swallow swept past Jack The Hiker to score by a length and a quarter in 29.04 seconds, with Carrigeen Chimes a head away in third.
After over 30 years' training Philip did as his father and in 2008 handed the licence over to his son Richard, who again had been working for Philip all his life.
Phil trained a string of champions including Cranog Bet, this flying machine swept all before her when she dominated English racing during the 1963 and ‘64 seasons, including two successive victories in the English Oaks.
During this period, Cranog Bet was unbeatable and her major triumphs included the National Sprint at Clapton, Cearns Memorial at Wimbledon, the Chelsea Cup at Stamford Bridge, the Prince Phillip Trophy at Harringay and the Double Diamond Select Stakes at Wembley and just for good measure, she ran track records at Clapton and another at Brough Park that was to stand for ten years.
As recognition for these outstanding performances, Cranog Bet was voted Champion Bitch of the Year for 1963 and 1964. On her return to Ireland, she captured another Classic Plum in the inaugural Guiness 600 and established a new track record at Shelbourne Park, before retiring to stud.
Shady Parachute won the Oaks in 1968 and placed fourth in the Greyhound Derby at White City, two years running, 1967 and 1968.
Xmas Holiday won the Laurel Trophy, Scurry Gold Cup, Essex Vase, Christmas Puppy Cup, Champion of Champions, Juvenile Championship, Variety Club Stakes, Breeders Special Award and was a Derby Finalist.
Mutts Silver won one of the best quality Greyhound Derby finals in 1976 beating an outstanding field crossing the finish line in 29.38 seconds defeating the Irish Champion Ballybeg Prim by 2 and a quarter lengths. Mutts Silver was voted Greyhound of the Year for 1976.