The broodmares at Egmont Park Stud have no idea, but the majority of clients of Airport and Regional Corporate Cars, certainly know they are a bit special.
Where else in the world do breeders have their standardbred semen delivered to them via a Mercedes Limousine?
For the first time this breeding season, Laurie and Lin Feehely, have added semen transport to their trustworthy Corporate Car / Limousine business.
Lin said this came about during a visit to Egmont Park, when Stud manager, Peter Bell & Laurie were discussing breeding.
“Peter asked if Laurie would consider transport from (QFO) Qantas Freight Office in Brisbane to him, and if so, he would ask if other studs close by would be interested to make it worthwhile.
“With no flights into Toowoomba for collection, it was going to make it somewhat difficult for anyone from the area to travel to Brisbane each day during the busy season.
“And with the Brisbane International Terminal closed, and very little travel to domestic for our business, Laurie agreed to give it a try for the season. Burwood Stud agreed to come on board as did Equivet,” Lin said.
She said her husband travelled from the Qantas Freight Office to Southbrook and return, dropping off for Stud clients on the way.
“When needed, Laurie can travel up to three times a day, seven days a week. All agreed to meet him at Southbrook to help with the two-hour each way trip.
“It has worked out really well to date, with the diesel run Mercedes’. I hope everyone is as happy as we are.”
Lin was speaking on behalf of her husband of 42 years, Laurie. She said he has rheumatoid arthritis and was short of breath the day Egmont Park contacted the couple. Lin said they enjoyed their new venture into semen delivery.
“We are no strangers to harness racing. We are both in our late 70s and although we are new to this aspect of the industry, we have been standardbred breeders and owners for decades.
“In fact, up until we moved to Loganlea eight years ago, we ran Lawlin (LAWrence & LINette) Lodge for 32 years at Greenbank. We lived amongst some wonderful animals, and in the early 1990s we stood the 1981 Most Happy Fella stallion, Limited Partner (103 wins and $203,614) at stud,” Lin said.
She said it was refreshing to be interacting with breeders and stud owners again, when most businesses had suffered losses in 2020, including their own business.
“We took a bit of a hit with Covid, but we are bouncing back and the semen transportation has been a great lift for us all, with very little movement in our usual airport transfers, weddings, formals, and RAAF Amberley clients.
“One of Queensland’s brightest & best young drivers, Angus Garrard, recently used one of our Black Mercedes limousines when he graduated from St Paul’s late last year,” Lin said.
She said Laurie’s parents – Ned and Jean Feehely previously owned the ‘Trotel’ (trotting motel) in Milperra Road Bankstown.
“They housed visiting standardbreds and owners who came from inter-state and New Zealand. They then moved to Ellis Street in Condell Park, and I remember the great Paleface Adios being stabled there in the late 1970s.
“They would let him off the float and tell him to go to his stable. It was a fully star studded door, and he knew exactly where to go without help.
“This was around the time Laurie and I were married. It was a well-known street and where I first met (a young) David Aiken, and (the late) John Binskin. Dennis Towell was a family friend, and remains the same today,” Lin said.
She said her father-in-law was a quality horseman.
“Ned raced at Harold Park, Bankstown and Penrith with good horses like Holy Night, Willie Roger, Gailworthy, and Paleface Adios when owner, Colin Pike, had to return to the farm. Jean worked for many years for Bankstown Club, and they hold a memorial race night each year for her.”
Lin said she has always loved horses and remembers admiring the young Weidemann girls at Rocklea.
“I remember watching a pacer named Kilkenny’s Return. That’s when I decided I had to have a pacer one day. He was an amazing horse and got me hooked on standardbreds.
“Laurie was the ideal hubby coming from a harness background, and RAAF trained, so it was a bonus that he was also able to cook, wash and iron.
“We raced horses early on with Bill Dixon when he moved from Charters Towers to Yatala. Grant was very young at the time, and Bill was doing the driving.
“He had Able Boss for an owner, and won almost $100,000. We raced Argentina, a little “cheapie” who was lovely mare that won many times for us.
“Rocklea was a great afternoon out and was usually packed. I think the best we had with Bill was the1986 Muckalee Strike gelding, Blazin Strike, who won nine races for us, mostly at Tweed Heads, with Grant driving.
“It was around this time, when we were in Sydney when ‘Ned’ Feehely won the Caduceus Award and wondered why there was not the same ‘Contribution to Harness Racing Award’ in Queensland.”
Lin made a sample trophy and actually presented it to Grant Dixon for his 21st Birthday before the ‘Pegasus’ actually became an annual prize at the Queensland Harness Racing Awards.
“I actually hung a gold chain with a key around the neck and it said the ‘key to success’. Well looking back now we know that worked because Grant is now in his late 40s,” Lin said.
She said one of the couple’s happiest wins was winning the Redcliffe Sales Series 3-year-old Final with the Donny Smith trained and Chris Petroff driven Celtic Cruza.
“We purchased him at the Redcliffe Sales and he won 14 races all up. Charlie Cini broke him in, and qualified him, and then asked Donny to take over to give us every chance to get him ready for Redcliffe.
“Laurie has known Charlie all his life as his father Lou was a family friend. I met Charlie when he was eight and walking a horse at Penrith,” Lin said.
Lin said they were honoured to have their 2006 Partywiththebigdog broodmare, Party In Paris agisting at Egmont Park Stud.
“She was 2012 Redcliffe Mare-of-the-Year, and it’s quite fitting that she is back where she loves life the most. She was born at Egmont Park Stud and has left us a lovely 2-year-old (October 2019) filly named Party Polotix.
"That Hurrikane Kingcole filly is beautiful and she's progressing well. She was broken in by Egmont Park staff, and then qualified by Murray Thomas. The mare is now in foal to Gotta Go Cullect. She is the only mare we are breeding from, and she looks a picture, along with her yearling Ohoka Punter colt by her side.”
Lin said the mares and foals were a credit to Egmont Park managers, Peter and Leean Bell.
“They do a great job, and their attention to detail is amazing. They are tireless in their care and monitoring of owners’ loved and valued horses.
“Egmont is beautifully kept and is a delight to visit. Leean makes you feel welcome and offers a good cuppa and home-made biscuit,” Lin said.
She then paid a tribute to Egmont Park Stud owners, Kevin and Kay Seymour.
“We thank and admire Kevin and Kay for their love of the sport, the great horses they breed, and what they do for the Australian Harness racing industry.
Laurie and I wish them both all the best for 2021. They deserve every win they get - and we hope they get plenty... with one exception - not if we have one in the same race – ‘wink’,” Lin said.