By David Brasch
SHE\’S a glamorous 33-year-old, a risk management officer with Singleton Council, who has overcome a crippling disease to embrace life.
But, she is also a devoted racing fan who is best known as \”The Greyhound Girl\”.
That\’s Dimity Maher who has become known throughout the industry for her weekly \”The Greyhound Girl\” podcasts that now attract a huge following. She\’s got to interview the greats of racing, leaders of the sport, and those wonderful people who make up the life and soul of greyhounds.
Her introduction to greyhounds was instant. Her parents Peter and Karen live just two minutes walk to the Singleton track. Peter has had dogs for 50 years. Dimity\’s grandfather Eric trained dogs all his life. Her great uncle Barry Eather was a legend in greyhound racing in the Hunter and starter at Singleton for many years late in life.
\”My grandfather taught me to bet, but Barry got me hands on with dogs,\” says Dimity.
\”Dad is a mechanic and being so close to the Singleton track, he was called on to service the lure system there. I tagged along from the time I was eight.\”
She was 13 when dad bought her a greyhound for Christmas.
\”We named him Dimeca,\” said Dimity. \”He was 40 kilos, by Royal P:ilgrim and he won six races, being so big, they all came at Wyong.\”
It would not be until 2007 before then 19-year-old Dimity bought her own next dog.
\”I paid $700 for a pup by Cromlah Bale, named him El Tigre, and he won 12 races,\” she said. \”My next dog I paid $1000 for, by Barcia Bale-Golden Duck. The mother is a sister to El Tigre.
\”I\’m a huge tennis fan, mainly Novak Djokovic, but I named this dog Nadal after Rafa. Dad saw the litter advertised in the Greyhound Recorder, the pup had a roman nose and was the last left for sale.\”
Nadal won seven races when trained by Dean Swain including a 29.85 victory at Wentworth Park a highlight and milestone for Dimity and her family.
By 2013, Dimity was struggling with her own health issues which put greyhound racing and fun in life on the backburner.
\”I came down with Crohn\’s Disease,\” said Dimity.
Crohn\’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition.
Dimity lost 8kgs in three months and admits to racing to the toilet 20 and more times a day.
She finally contacted a specialist whose earliest consultation was not for some time.
\”The specialist suggest I start drinking a small bottle of Yakult each day,\” she said. \”After the first day, I felt OK, by the third day I was perfect. I even rang the company that produces it and told them.
\”They put me on speaker to a gathering of company officials to hear my success story.\”
Yakult is a probiotic.
A later specialists visit now sees Dimity living her life normally again.
Dimity and her dad Peter picked up the greyhound bug again and Midnight Sea landed a few wins and they now have pups by Raw Ability and Zambora Brockie.
But, Dimity\’s fame in greyhound racing was next.
\”I\’d always listened to Going Greyhounds and thought I would like to do something much the same,\” she said. \”I played around with the idea for a while and dad said who would care if no one ever listened to my podcast.\”
Her first \”subject\” was NSW racecaller Dan Russ.
Feedback was phenomenal.
\”And it has grown from there,\” she said. \”I decided to do some more, and on it has gone.
\”It has now go to the stage where I get approached by people asking me to interview them.
\”No, it is not a professional podcast at all, but I\’m really proud of the response, up to 6000 listens. I\’ve recently splurged out by buying an $809 microphone.
\”I\’ve got my laptop in front of me and hold the phone up to the microphone to record the interview. I\’ve had lots of very interesting people who have told lots of very interesting stories.\”
Dimity now has 2500 followers on Facebook.
\”It\’s not the fact they are following me, but the fact they are following greyhound racing that pleases me the most,\” she said.
She recently ran a competition for a few prizes that raised enough money for her to grant $760 each to three different greyhound re-homing groups.
\”I\’m overwhelmed by so much support to my podcasts,\” she said. \”Greyhound racing is my whole life.\”
She and dad Peter are looking forward to their next dogs on the track and are already planning to mate Midnight Sea.
\”My dad cannot stand when our dogs are beaten,\” she said. \”He\’s a real Lloyd Williams the way he likes to take charge.
\”Eventually we would like to get back into training, but that won\’t happen for a while.\”
In the meantime, \”The Greyhound Girl\” has a podcast to plan, put to air, and continue her love affair with the sport.