As Telemon Thoroughbreds builds its brand across the industry, an experienced and passionate team of staff have been recruited to continue the Queensland property’s legacy as a breeding ground of champions.
Heading up operations is General Manager Joe Heather who leads a small, dedicated team.
The Gold Coast born-and-bred horseman has overseen operations at Telemon since it was launched in June last year.
Joe credits his late father Jeff, who was a trainer at Gold Coast Turf Club, for providing him with the grounding he needed to start a career in the industry.
“It starts with Dad, a very old-fashioned country horseman who taught me a lot of basics,” said Joe.
“I used to spend my mornings and weekends down at the track with him so I caught the bug there.”
With his passion for thoroughbreds well and truly established as a teenager, Joe set out to gain as much experience as he could to forge a career in the industry.
“I started out as a work experience kid at Woodlands Stud in the Hunter Valley. I used to fly down there in the school holidays.
“After I graduated high school, I packed up the car, moved down there and started full-time.”
Joe reflects on his time at Woodlands as his most formative and acknowledges the contribution that the likes of the late Peter Flynn and Scott Holcombe, who were both at Woodlands then, had on his career.
“I still credit a lot of what I have learnt to my time at Woodlands and that experience is what I tap into everyday.
“It was a fantastic operation and I was lucky to be educated by some very key people.”
At Woodlands during its transition to Darley, Joe’s role included working with a stallion roster that included Lonhro, Commands, Octagonal, Quest For Fame and Canny Lad.
“I have a massive soft spot for Lonhro. He was a very intelligent horse to handle and a horse that got me hooked on the industry when I used to watch him racing.”
With opportunities back home in Queensland calling, Joe returned as part of the management team at Glenlogan Park before taking on a nominations and bloodstock role at Patinack Farm.
Then for four years leading up to starting at Telemon, Joe managed the development of River Junction which had a boutique band of broodmares and racehorses that were raced primarily with Tony Gollan.
“We had horses of the calibre of Whiskey Allround, a good homebred, and Looks Like The Cat and Traveston Girl, both group performed two and three-year-olds.
“It was a great ride and we bred some very nice horses and had some great sales success.”
These past relationships have helped Joe establish a strong client base already at Telemon.
“River Junction are a good client who place a lot of faith in us. We foal down the majority of their mares and do the conformation management of the foals before they return.
“Patinack is where I developed a lot of contacts that I have today – a lot of them have been with me since then and I’m really thankful for that.
“Dan and Rae Fletcher (owners of Telemon) were people I met during my time there.”
After keeping in contact over the years, the Fletchers offered Joe the role of General Manager which is a great fit for he and his family.
“My wife Beth runs the office and does the administration, and our two kids Lachlan and Sarah are mad keen about getting out of the house and onto the feed run with Dad.”
With his family loving life on the farm, Joe has a quiet determination to make his mark at Telemon Thoroughbreds.
“The common theme in this property’s history is constant success.
“That’s the feedback you get when you speak to trainers and bloodstock agents about horses coming from the farm. They have a lot of confidence in the type of animal that can be raised here.
“Our job is to provide the right bloodstock and run the property to the best of its ability. We know if we do our bit, Telemon will deliver.”
One of the first objectives for Joe and owners Dan & Rae is the development of a band of broodmares that meet their exacting standards.
“We’re constantly looking to improve the stock in our paddocks and we want our clients to come on that journey with us.
“That might be as simple as letting us share our insights all the way through to investing in bloodstock with us as our partner.
“Quality is our focus. When you get it right, the owners are a great example of what can be achieved both on the track as well as in the sale ring.”