Race Club



Leanne Backwell

Horses have played a large role in Leanne’s life. She has been breeding and racing thoroughbreds for over 25 years.

Although new to Mansfield, Leanne has considerable experience with community and sporting organisations, including Pony Club Association Victoria, Agricultural Societies and Football/Netball in the AFL Goldfields region.

Leanne studied Eduction and Journalism and has worked extensively in both fields. She later combined the two for a long career in Public Relations and Community Management in the Independent Schools sector.

Leanne and her husband Jonathan have two adult daughters, Alice and Edwina. All are keen racegoers with a love of the pastoral industry.


David Roff

David has extensive experience in local government including 8 years as CEO of Mansfield Shire.


He sits on several boards and is currently Chairman of the Goulburn Valley Football Netball league.


He and his wife Kathy live at Goughs Bay and part own several thoroughbreds including listed race winner Moonlight Hussler.


David looks forward to his love of Mansfield , strong governance experience and interest in racing being put to good use.


Ross May

Ross spent his first 30 years in Melbourne's Eastern Suburbs first visiting Lake Eildon at the age of 15. A period of mucking around with boats led to his family buying a house in Bonnie Doon. A career in media led Ross to Sydney where he established a publishing business focussed on Waste and Environmental Management. Along the way he has served on a variety of committees including as a Director of the Waste Management Association of Australia, Chair of Australia's largest Environment Business Conference and as a member of the Barton Group of industry leaders advising the then Federal Environment Minister on the implementation of the Environment Industry Action Agenda. Ross moved to Merrijig with his wife in 2014 and after selling his publishing business in 2018 is hoping to be a gentleman farmer.



Ainsley May

Ainsley grew up in Geelong and Canberra, the daughter of an VFL footballer and a flight attendant - not surprisingly shaping her passion for sport and travel. Later Ainsley moved to Adelaide where she completed a Journalism Degree that took her from Loxton in SA's Riverland to London. On returning home she joined the Flight Centre Travel Group, later opening the company's first shop in Cape Town, South Africa. She later moved into training, a role that would take to many parts of the world. In 2012 Ainsley was inducted into the Flight Centre Hall of Fame - only the 12th person globally to be so honoured. In 2014 Ainsley and her husband moved to Merrijig opening boutique luxury accommodation business 187 Merrijig in 2015.


Wes Mudge

Wes Mudge has had an association with Mansfield for 40+ years and move to Mansfield in 2018 to pursue his interests in the outdoors more regularly.  Previously, Wes was a business Partner in an Accounting Firm in Melbourne’s CBD. 


He joined the committee of the MDRC in 2018, providing an opportunity to again participate in a volunteer capacity within the community, having actively done so in Melbourne for over 15+ years. 


The engagement with MDRC continues his interest in horse racing, having been involved in horse syndication with friends run by Brad Spicer and a member of the VRC.  




Noel is a retired Business Systems Analyst, born in Traralgon, whose parents were born and raised in the Mansfield area. He has maintained a strong affinity with the district, purchasing a small farm in Booroolite in 2001. He is an active member of the Merrijig CFA‚ Merrijig Hall Committee and inaugural committee member of Mansfield Relay for Life. Noel has been a steering committee and Board member of the Community Bank® since inception in 2006. Noel has enjoyed a varied career including three decades in executive roles in the family Transport & Concrete Business providing nationwide reach. Noel retired from Holcim Australia Ltd in 2010 and now concentrates on cattle grazing and is an active partner in a local garden design business.




Licensed Estate Agent and Principal of local Agency McGrath Mansfield. Born and Bred in the High Country with strong ancestry in the area and a very active member of the local community. With a passion for Real Estate she has developed strong relationships with a broad range of the community. Outside of work, Allana adores spending time with her children and fostering her love of animals through breeding miniature belted Galloway cattle.



Belinda De Maria has managed various businesses over the last decade with her most recent venture in the cosmetics and tanning industry. As the head of belindademaria.com.au she splits her time between Melbourne and Mansfield.

Originating from country Victoria, Belinda has a strong sense of community. She has been an active member on the Mansfield Football Netball Club committee for 3 years, assuming the position of Vice President in 2019. Along with her husband Rennie De Maria, head of the Alliance Group, Belinda continues to support numerous charities in the local community including the recent ‘Buy A Bale’ campaign for farmers in need. As well as various other Melbourne based Charities.  

As part of her ongoing commitment to supporting and helping community organisations in Mansfield, Belinda is thrilled to be a part of Mansfield District Race Club and is looking forward to playing an active role in the ongoing success of country racing in the district.