Racing history alive and well at Sunshine Coast
For Alexandra Headland residents Neil and Patricia Eiby, joining Melbourne Cup Day celebrations with their neighbours at Bolton Clarke’s Tantula Rise retirement village brings back fond memories.
The pair have a special connection to racing, having celebrated their retirement by diving into a new career as thoroughbred stud owners.
In the 90’s Neil was a School Sergeant at St Laurence’s College in South Brisbane, and Patricia was the first female vice principal at Brisbane State High School. When it came time to retire, Neil persuaded Patricia to let him follow a lifelong dream.
“Neil’s dream had always been to have a thoroughbred stud and breed horses,” Patricia laughed.
“I think we fought about it for about three days about it until he won the battle, and I said okay!”
“We bought 40 acres up in the mountains near Woodford and built it from the ground up.”
Together, Neil and Patricia bred horses and sold shares to the general public. Patricia was responsible for running the bloodlines and ensuring top nutrition, learning on the go and often researching information online.
“My general rule was to use a mare from the Australian bloodline and match it with a Northern European. I would find a stallion that would match the mares that we had,” she said.
The couple enjoyed five years of success with their horses, working alongside well-known Sunshine Coast horse trainer Trevor Miller, whose career spans over 35 years.
“A lot of them were very good,” Neil said.
“I get emotional thinking about it – we won 39 races, including the Caloundra Cup with our horse King Latamiss. His father was Latamiss, an Irish Stallion who was brought out to Australia.
“We also had a horse who was the fastest two-year-old Philly in Queensland, she won the Sir Douglas Wadley Stakes, and her name was Sheer Devotion.”
The couple stopped racing after about five years but remained at their property in Woodford before downsizing to their new home on the hill at Tantula Rise.
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