They may be nicknamed “swimmers” but this horse semen took to the skies to avoid getting wet. 

Central Queensland-based vet Tess Salmond runs a horse breeding program at her Clermont clinic and says they run on a very tight deadline with both the horse semen and the mares they impregnate. 

“It [horse semen] doesn’t live for very long,” Dr Salmond said.

“Generally about four days maximum.


Dr Salmond’s horse semen was collected from studs as far away as Melbourne, but floodwaters from recent heavy rain in central Queensland very nearly scuppered plans to bring new foals into the world. 

With Theresa Creek flooded, trucks and couriers travelling to Clermont with the precious cargo were ordered to turn back. 

The Central Highlands has experienced record-breaking rain over the past week, to the delight of many graziers.

Luckily, Dr Salmond was able to contact Capella-based helicopter pilot Lee Challacombe to charter a flight. 

“We had to call on the talents of one of our local superstar helicopter pilots, who very luckily came to our rescue.

“He [Lee Challacombe] is a bit of a local legend and one of our very good clients, so we’re very blessed.” 

Clermont vet Tess Salmond stands with a horse.

Clermont vet Tess Salmond runs horse breeding services at her surgery in central Queensland.(ABC Rural: Sophie Kesteven)

Mr Challacombe is predominantly a helicopter musterer but does take chartered flights for emergencies and during flood season. 

“Normally we’ve got groceries or something like that for people, or medications,” Mr Challacombe said. 

As a campdrafter and horse breeder himself, Dr Salmond said Mr Challacombe understood the importance of the timely delivery — and didn’t mind the unusual merchandise. 

“He’s a man of few words, so he didn’t say too much,” Dr Salmond said. 

“But I’m very sure he understood the urgency of the situation.”

Posted , updated 

Helicopter pilot flies urgent delivery of horse semen after floodwaters cut roads
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