Video: A woman for all seasons

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Victoria Shaw at Albury on Melbourne Cup day.

Victoria Shaw at Albury on Melbourne Cup day.

HISTORY was created at Albury Racing Club yesterday when Victoria Shaw became the first woman to call a meeting at the track.

The late Ted Ryder and Geoff O’Brien each had a long stint in the role, but no female had graced the caller’s booth high above the grandstand until yesterday.

Shaw was a last-minute call-up for the Albury meeting on the biggest racing day of the year.

But her short career to date has seen her call at Rosehill, Newcastle, Mount Gambier, Darwin and even King Island.

She made her debut at Hanging Rock in 1998 and last Sunday was behind the microphone at Kilmore.

“I have ridden horses, but not very well I must say,” she said.

“I was lucky enough to have a former racehorse as a pet, which I rode as a hack.

“I like live radio as a medium so much. There is no opportunity for take two.”

Shaw’s determination to break into the largely male domain of race calling came after a stint at Gippsland radio station, 3TR, in the early 1990s.

She discovered legendary racecaller Bill Collins began his career at the station and was inspired to follow his lead.

“The guys in Australia are very, very good,” Shaw said.

“I’ve got some very big shoes to fill, but I have got size 10 feet so I will give it a crack.

“It has been an interesting challenge and not something I went to let go of.

“It is really good exercise for me today to get used to the field going the other way.”

Shaw is based in Melbourne where she works in a secretarial role for a construction company.