HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE: MARG LONG
- Manager, Traralgon Greyhound Racing Club
- Manager, Geelong Greyhound Racing Club
- General Manager, Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association (Olympic Park & The Meadows)
Hall Of Fame inductee Marg Long has been synonymous with The Meadows’ rise to become one of Australia’s and indeed the world’s most successful greyhound racing venues.
After cutting her administrative teeth at Traralgon and Geelong in the 1980s and ’90s, Marg assumed control of the Melbourne Greyhound Racing Association at a pivotal juncture in its history, overseeing the move from Olympic Park and the development of The Meadows, which opened in February 1999.
“Margaret has been terrific for us over the last 20 years,” said long-time MGRA Chairman, Eddie Caruana.
“She was there for the ‘Last Bark in the Park’, our final meeting at Olympic Park in 1996, and there were some very difficult times while we raced at Sandown before we eventually decided on the location of The Meadows. Everyone thought we were crazy but it ended up being a very good move.
“Margaret oversaw the whole operation at The Meadows; from buying the land to the opening meeting. We built the place from scratch and we had very limited funds, so she did a very good job with the finances
“I think Margaret’s best quality is that she’s brutally honest. She calls a spade a spade and she doesn’t take any rubbish from anyone. She is hard but fair with the staff and I think the longevity of the staff at The Meadows is testament to the respect they have for Margaret.”
From humble beginnings The Meadows has gone from strength to strength under Marg’s guidance, with the circuit now host to nine Group 1 events, highlighted by the jewel in the crown, the Topgun, and the lucrative Australian Cup Carnival.
“I don’t think even Margaret knew at that time The Meadows was going to grow into the success it has,” MGRA Director, Terry Davis said.
“Margaret’s success in regards to The Meadows has been the birth of the nine Group 1 races.
“The Australian Cup Carnival, with the Zoom Top, Rookie Rebel and Temlee, plus the Topgun and Hume Cup have all been successful due to Margaret’s relationships, not only with our sponsors but certainly with all patrons at the track.
“She has given the Hume Council and ourselves a great partnership, she’s enjoyed bringing young people into the industry and she’s enjoyed employing young people in the industry.
“She is a strong-willed woman, she’s very strong in the boardroom and all our directors respect Margaret.
“To see The Meadows grow into a leading Australian greyhound track has certainly been Margaret’s greatest moment in the industry.”