NCA of Victoria joint secretary Melanie Lithgow will “forever cherish memories” of winning the Karen Leek Stakes with Dream Wizard at yesterday’s Longwood coursing meeting.
“It was a huge honour – knowing what Karen had achieved in the industry,” Melanie said. “And it felt great bringing the trophy back to Devon Meadows, an area she loved.
Melanie and husband Sean (also joint secretary of NCA of Vic) ‘lived around the corner’ from Karen’s pristine greyhound rearing complex.
“We walked our greyhounds past her property every morning and she would always wave out and say hello if she noticed us,” Melanie said. “But on the day of her tragic passing, her road was blocked off and police were everywhere. We found out early that something horrible had happened.”
Karen was revered as a greyhound breeder/rearer and caring person, but Melanie added that she also had an involvement with coursing.
“When Sean and I volunteered at Lang Lang, she was always there trialling on a Sunday morning.”
The Lithgows have 10 greyhounds in work and Dream Wizard (Mar ’18 Walk Hard x Gotham Queen) is a member of a successful litter comprising Gotham Duke, Gotham Princess, Gotham Duchess and Lady Gotham.
He’s started 12 times for five wins, two seconds and three thirds on the circle but Melanie said, “we’ll keep focusing on coursing with him”.
Meanwhile, Gotham Duke finished runner-up in yesterday’s Big Bash Wilcocks Puppy Mixed 2 at Longwood.
Pawnote: Melanie is a veterinary operations manager for Vetcentric in Melbourne. Its parent company, United Vets Group, owns 500 veterinary practices in Australia and New Zealand.