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New song dedicated to QLD horse ownership

By Alex Nolan

Queensland musician John Busby says life in a rock ‘n’ roll band is nothing compared to the highs, lows and adrenaline of racehorse ownership.

Busby and his indie band, Halfway, are well-known for combining his love of racing with their award-winning music.

Their 2014 single ‘Dulcify’ was named ‘Song of the Year’ at the Queensland Music Awards, while their most recent single ‘Two and a half percent of a dream’ comes from their widely acclaimed 2018 album ‘Rain Lover’.

‘Two and a half percent of a dream’ details the story of how the lead singer purchased shares in a racehorse with his father – former Queensland participant John Busby Snr – shortly before he passed away.

WATCH: Two And A Half Percent of A Dream.

The film-clip features historical vision of racing at the Oak Park track in North Queensland, where Busby Snr once plied his trade.

Busby and his father took shares in the galloper Tax Exemption, which won a maiden at the Gold Coast in 2012 before being shipped south.

“My uncle Ray bought 10% and me and my old man went 2.5% each in it and that’s how the song came about,” Busby said.

“My dad and his brother bought a lot of two-year-olds over the years.”

Busby said his father was a talented apprentice in the mid-to-late 1960s before weight ultimately confined him to the bush circuit.

In the 1980s, in partnership with his brother Ray, he started training out of Callaghan Park at Rockhampton and had up to 25 horses in work.

He later turned his hand to bookmaking in the days where on-course plunges were commonplace.

“I think he made a far better jockey and trainer than he did a bookmaker,” Busby joked.

Busby Jnr grew up around the stables and knows the blood, sweat and tears that goes into preparing yearlings for racing and the satisfaction one receives out of actually getting one to win.

“When you take a horse to the track, it does everything right and actually wins, I’m not sure there’s any better feeling than that,” he said.

Busby holds a soft spot for the Callaghan Park track in Rocky but has travelled to many country tracks throughout his long association with the sport.

“Going to Emerald was always a special day because of two things; they had some grass on the track and there was a bit of money on offer,” he said.

Halfway recently launched a new music festival ‘Autumn Fall’, which will be held at The Triffid on Saturday, 25 May.

The band will play at approximately 9pm, which could make for an ideal Kingsford-Smith Cup Day afterparty.

To learn more about Halfway visit www.halfway.com.au.