Photo. Left to Right: Paige Hodge with Indie (Unwanted Lady) and Xanda Lockwood with Freckles (Lady Freckles) both greyhounds belonged to Mandy.
Mandy “Mumma” Shaw would be smiling down from heaven with pride.
The much-loved Mandy passed away on September 27 – only four weeks short of her 55th birthday – after a battle with liver cancer.
But equally as proud is her partner of 14 years, Glenn Campbell, after the Ballarat GRC created a memorial series in her honour.
Base at Anakie, Campbell was so touched by the club’s gesture that he’s arranging specially designed commemorative polo shirts for all finalists in the Mandy “Mumma” Shaw Memorial, to be held on Group 2 BFC Ballarat Cup night, along with a presentation rug.
“I’m as proud as punch with the response to this event – to get five heats is unbelievable,” an emotional Campbell said. “It’s an absolute honour, Mandy left an indelible impression on everyone she came into contact with.”
And that includes Campbell, who first met Mandy in 2006.
“At the time, I was working in R&D for carpet manufacturer Godfrey Hirst,” he said. “It was just an impromptu meeting while I was up in Wangaratta for work at Bruck Textiles. Mandy was a member of the canteen services team and we struck up a conversation and for me, there was an attraction straight away.”
Campbell invited Mandy out for dinner that night before returning to Melbourne and then they “kept in touch by text messages” before a romance blossomed.
“Mandy was just a pleasant, gentle, happy-go-lucky person… She made you laugh,” Campbell said. “I miss her dearly… She would engage with anyone and was a real character, a larger-than-life figure. She made a lot of friends in the industry.”
Incredibly, Mandy had never been to a greyhound track prior to meeting Campbell, who says her popularity within the sport is testament to her magnetic personality. “Her first look at a race was at the old Wangaratta track,” he said.
And he added: “Mandy barracked for Hawthorn but also had never been to an AFL match. “I’m a staunch Geelong supporter, so we stayed at Crown Casino overnight before going to the opening game of the 2007 season which Geelong won.”
Pawnote: The Mandy “Mumma” Shaw Memorial heats (450m) – Bitches Only/250+ Ranking – will be conducted on Monday night, with the final winner taking home a $3350 first prize.
Mandy was extremely close to Brooke Berry, who trained Judy Hayley Memorial winner Unwanted Lady for her. And she also built strong friendships with Renee Kenyon and Deborah Coleman.
“Some of Mandy and Deb’s road trips to Sale were legendary. They were as thick as thieves,” Campbell quipped.
And Brooke says Mandy left her with some everlasting memories, including the first time they met.
“I think it was the first or second week of my training career,” Brooke said. “My dog Chapta Lee was having her first start at Bendigo and I got called in for her ‘failing to chase’. I’d spent six months working on her and I was crying outside the kennel block. Mandy came over and said, ‘are you alright’?”
“And from then, we were like ‘two peas in a pod’,” Brooke said. “Mandy said, ‘give me your number and I’ll ring to see how you’re getting on’.”
Brooke added, “it’s still hard to fathom Mandy’s gone”. “She was just so cheeky but at the same time fiercely loyal. It was a real privilege to have her as a friend. I was so lucky to get to know her, and we just clicked. I first met her in 2017, but people thought we’d been friends for years.”
“Mandy was truly one of a kind. She believed in me like no one ever had and giving me Unwanted Lady to train (her best, most loved girl) was the biggest honour.”
“She was courageous and funny, and she had some of the best one-liners I have ever heard. Her love for her family, her greyhounds and her wicked sense of humour are just some of the things I’ll never forget.”
Campbell said Mandy “just had a natural affinity with greyhounds, and they loved her”. “For someone who had never had anything to do with the sport, she embraced it. She’d be barracking for my dogs even when they were trialling; she found her calling in life.”
But Campbell stressed that her ‘greatest love’ was attending Ballarat Tier 3 meetings on a Monday. “Even when she became seriously ill, she still wanted to go.”
It was Mandy’s daughter, Nikkii, who gave her the “Mumma” sobriquet.
“Mandy would drive down from Wangaratta on a weekend and was like a ‘mother figure’ to the girls playing footy for Scoresby,” Campbell said.
Campbell and son Jack have a total of four runners in the Memorial heats and he says, “to win the final would be a dream come true”. “But I hope it’s won by a trainer who knows how much it means to me and Mandy’s parents, Ken and Margaret Mildren.”
And Campbell says, “I’ll be forever grateful to the Ballarat club and GRV for making this an annual event”. “I’m completely overwhelmed, the support has been phenomenal.”
The late Mandy ‘Mumma’ Shaw.