The Queensland harness racing industry is mourning the loss of Doug Coy, who passed away late last week at the age of 94.
The Warwick-based horseman was well-known for training and driving champion Queensland pacer Stormy Water, who won on Albion Park’s opening night in 1968.
Stormy Water was retired to Junabee Stud in Coy’s local town of Warwick, where the horse then stood with great success.
Coy’s legacy won’t soon be forgotten on the industry, with sons Jeff and Neil both following in their father’s footsteps as successful drivers in their own right.
Doug’s son-in-law, Richard March, still trains to this day, and grandson, Dayl, is a driver and thoroughbred trainer.
David Millard, also a son-in-law to Doug, is a harness trainer with grandsons, Andrew and Brad, driving for the family.
“Dad was one of the pioneers of harness racing in Queensland with his brother Fred, and he won a number of derbies as a trainer and driver but also as a breeder,” Jeff Coy said of his father.
“It’s been a real family affair, and there’s no doubt that it’s thanks to my father.
“There are a number of good horses still racing at the moment that if you trace back you’ll find that they came from Junabee Stud.
“That’s the kind of influence he has left on the sport, his mark is still there on the track.
“Two days before he passed, dad was still watching the races and trying to keep up with it – we would take our phones over and show him all the replays.
“He was a man of the land, he was a farmer and he lived in the same house for his entire life there at Junabee.”
Jeff is confident that his father is still looking over the family, sharing a story from the days following his passing when Doug’s grandson, Andrew, saluted with a win at Redcliffe in the family’s colours.
“I had a horse racing at Redcliffe last Sunday, and I am the custodian of dad’s original racing colours, so I asked for Andrew to get permission to drive in dad’s colours and the horse of course won the race,” Jeff said.
“My son was over with me watching the race and after the Redcliffe race they switched to a thoroughbred race in Sha Tin, and the first horse we saw on the screen had the purple and gold stars – dad’s colours.
“Of course, that horse also went on to win but the freaky part is that horse was trained by a fella by the name of A. Millard, my nephew’s name.
“You can’t tell me dad didn’t have a hand in that."
Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell expressed his condolences to Doug’s family, acknowledging Coy’s legacy in the sport.
“The industry is saddened to learn of the passing of Doug Coy,” Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“His influence in the sport is evidenced by his family connections that still contribute so much to the industry today.
“His sons and grandchildren have all achieved considerable success and none of that would be possible without Doug and Junabee Stud.”
Racing Queensland extends its sincere condolences to the Coy family.