World champion stallion Warrawee Needy garnered attention from horse people, the general public and media outlets as he was showcased at Mac Lilley Farms’ Open House on a beautiful, sunny Saturday (Jan. 30) afternoon in Dutton, Ont.
An estimated 300 visitors attended the Open House that was hosted by four generations of the Lilley family. Local MPP Jeff Yurek (Elgin-Middlesex-London) attended the event while some visitors travelled over two hours to see Warrawee Needy in person.
A career winner of 29 races and over $1.25 million, the son of E Dees Cam out of Great Memories set Ontario Sires Stakes records as a youngster and is the co-fastest Standardbred in a race mile courtesy of his 1:46.4 victory as a four-year-old in the 2013 William Haughton Memorial eliminations at The Meadowlands.
Warrawee Needy, who was campaigned by Hall of Fame trainer Carl Jamieson and current owner Mark Ford throughout his career, was retired from racing at the end of 2015 and will stand for stallion duty at Mac Lilley Farms.
“I started breeding in ’73 here, these horses, and it seems to me every so often there’s a great horse that comes along and kind of lifts the breed up,” said Mac Lilley in a CTV London interview prior to the Open House.
“He was a great racehorse and we just hope he is a great sire.”
“Visitors toured the stud barn, training barns and breeding shed, watched Warrawee Needy race videos, enjoyed hot drinks and cookies, but mostly visited with their friends and neighbours,” Ruleen Lilley told Trot Insider. “People travelled from as far away as Newmarket and Windsor to see Warrawee Needy. Many folks booked their mares before they headed home.”
Donations amounting to $540 were also collected for the Classy Lane Fire Fund.