Inter Dominion champion Mr Feelgood thriving in retirement

After an unprecedented racing career that took him around the globe, champion standardbred Mr Feelgood is living a life of luxury on Queensland’s Darling Downs.

The 20-year-old stallion boasts an incredible racing resume that includes major victories on the North American and Australasian circuit.

In his racing days, he was a Little Brown Jug winner before relocating to Australia where he won the Inter Dominion crown on the Gold Coast.

Now long retired, Mr Feelgood is living out his days a short drive from his greatest Australian performance at the races in the 2009 ID series.

Mr Feelgood is regarded as one of the true legends of the Grand Circuit event ahead of its return to the Sunshine State later this year for the first time since the Gold Coast in 2009.

“He has got quite a big yard there with all the hay he could eat,” Egmont Park Stud Manager Peter Bell said of the horse he calls ‘Feely’.

“He is happy running around and has a sparring partner not far away in Ohoka Punter.

“They run up and down sparring all the time. He is quite a happy horse.”

Mr Feelgood has stood at Egmont Park Stud as a stallion in the years since he retired back in 2012.

Kevin Seymour.

Mr Feelgood’s journey began in the USA where he won the prestigious Little Brown Jug before he was purchased by the Brisbane-based Seymour family and their connections to race on the Australasian circuit.

The stallion’s exceptional form on the track continued in Australia – headlined by his ID victory in 2009 – as well as other feature events, before he retired with more than $3 million in prize money to his name.

In claiming the Inter Dominion Pacing Grand Final on the Gold Coast all those years ago, Mr Feelgood upset a Queensland icon in Blacks A Fake.

At Kevin and Kay Seymour’s Brisbane home they display the multiple shiny trophies that they have won over the years as leading harness owners in Australia.

Kevin notes that the vast majority of the trophies on show are from horses they have bred themselves.

Mr Feelgood’s achievements on show stand out as a rarity as one of the only horses the Seymours purchased to race.

Like his rival on the track, Blacks A Fake is also enjoying his post-racing life in a Delaney’s Creek retirement paddock in Queensland.

Peter’s wife Leean says ‘Feely’s’ ID victory only enhanced his breeding career, which had already began while he was still racing.

“He surprised everyone that night as Blacks A Fake had led and he came past him on the inside to pip him at the post,” Leean said.

“I think it was a very important thing for Feelgood as a stallion.

“When we first put him to stud, he was the flavour of the month. The Inter Dominion victory was important for his post-racing life.”

The Bells with Mr Feelgood.

In more recent years, top Queensland standardbreds being sold to the USA to race has become almost commonplace.

Horses coming back the other way does not happen nearly as often.

That was even more so the case in Mr Feelgood’s days.

“He is a unique horse being at the top of his field in North America before he came here,” Racing Queensland’s Harness Operations Manager Brett Rail said.

“He came here and took the Australian industry by storm. He has carried on his North American exploits here in Australia and that is unprecedented.”

The Bells treasure ‘Feely’.

“He has been a phenomenal horse, he is special what he did on the track,” Leean said.

“We love him.”

Peter continues Leean’s thoughts.

“It is quite an amazing feat,” Peter said.

“He has been here all along with us. He is a special horse.”

Mr Feelgood’s unprecedented career on the track led to his high level of popularity in the breeding barn.

The Bells with Mr Feelgood.

Leean recalls a season where he served 350 mares.

Red Charmer, Charming Allie and Happy Feelings are just a trio of top horses that are progeny of Mr Feelgood’s.

While Mr Feelgood may not have reached the breeding heights of other stallions, Leean says he has been an asset for the harness racing industry in Queensland for more than a decade.

“There would be one disappointment and that would be that he never had a million dollar horse,” she said.

“He has had lots good earners, some up to $300,000 or close to, but he never had a million dollar horse.

“That would have made him as a stallion if he got one over the million dollar mark. In saying that, he has certainly helped everybody in the industry that bred to him.

“There is quite a few Mr Feelgood’s going around and if you look at the fields most weeks then there is one or two that have won. He has left his mark on the industry.”

Mr Feelgood is not as busy in the breeding barn as he once was but he is still standing at stud.

He still enjoys his ‘smooches’ from Leean.

“He is such a gentleman to handle, he is such a nice horse,” Peter said.

“He is living his life.”

Champion stallion Mr Feelgood.

By Jordan Gerrans