Joyce Corbett of Jiggi with her horse 18-year-old mare Refleex and her foal Flex-x born on Wednesday evening. Joyce and Refleex won the Tom Quilty Cup in 2004.
Joyce Corbett of Jiggi with her horse 18-year-old mare Refleex and her foal Flex-x born on Wednesday evening. Joyce and Refleex won the Tom Quilty Cup in 2004. Jacklyn Wagner

Colt was worth the wait

JUST as champion mare, Refleex, won prestigious endurance races by pacing herself, she also waited a long time to give birth to her first foal.

On Wednesday, 18-year-old Refleex had a colt, Flex-X, several weeks prematurely and caught horse breeders, Joyce Corbett and Steve Clibborn of Jiggi, by surprise.

"I went up to check the cows yesterday (Wednesday) and I was doing a head-count on them, standing in the back of the ute," Mr Clibborn recalled.

"Then I thought, 'Hang on, I've got too many calves'.

"It was quite a big thing because if you leave a foal in a paddock with geldings, like these two, they'll kill it because they're very dominant."

Mr Clibborn and Ms Corbett previously tried to breed Refleex but failed and the retired champion is now considered old to be having her first foal.

However, Ms Corbett said it was symbolic of the champion's nature.

"She is old to be foaling but she has always been an endurance horse," Ms Corbett said.

Horse breeders usually pay for a stallion to impregnate their mares, but Refleex received "a free service" from Eastwinds Axiltation, a top breeding stallion from Maclean, because she is so highly regarded.

In 2004, Refleex became the only non-professional horse to have won the Tom Quilty Cup, a 160 km-long South Australian endurance race.

"When Refleex won the Tom Quilty Cup, I was offered $100,000 for her, but I didn't take it," Ms Corbett recalled.

Mr Clibborn believed Flex-X inherited its mother's "stamina and guts" and could subsequently fetch more than $20,000 at market.

However, Mr Clibborn and Ms Corbett do not plan to sell the new-born.

"All Refleex's blood-line have been exceptional endurance horses and it would be interesting to ride her prodigy and see if he's got more stamina," Ms Corbett said.

Mr Clibborn and Ms Corbett will begin training Flex-X to race in three to four years.



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