E. P. Taylor elected to National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame as Pillar of the Turf

Esteemed sportsmen Edward R. Bradley and Edward P. Taylor have been elected to the National Museum of Racing’s Hall of Fame as Pillars of the Turf.

The Pillars of the Turf category is designated to honor individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to Thoroughbred racing in a leadership or pioneering capacity at the highest national level. Candidates must be deemed to have represented the sport with indisputable standards of integrity and commitment through disciplines such as breeding and ownership, innovation, philanthropy, promotion and education. August Belmont II and Paul Mellon were the initial Pillars of the Turf inductees in 2013.

Bradley and Taylor will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with the racehorses Ashado, Clifford and Curlin; jockeys Lloyd Hughes and Alex Solis; and trainer Gary Jones on Friday, Aug. 8. The ceremony will be held at the Fasig-Tipton sales pavilion in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at 10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Edward Plunket Taylor (1901-1989), a native of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, got involved with racing in the mid-1930s. The crown jewel of his consolidation of Canadian racing was at Woodbine, which opened in 1956. His greatest contribution to breeding dated from the 1952 purchase of the top price mare at Newmarket, Lady Angela, the dam of Nearctic, who in turn sired Northern Dancer.

With Northern Dancer, Taylor achieved his goal of proving high-class horses could be bred in Canada. Northern Dancer won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness before launching a stallion career many regard as the greatest of the 20th century, an influence still prominent today. Northern Dancer sired three Epsom Derby winners (Nijinsky II, The Minstrel and Secreto), all bred by Taylor’s Windfields Farm.

Taylor bred 54 champions, a preponderance being champions in Canada, but also including Northern Dancer, Glorious Song and Devil’s Bag in the U.S., and nine in Europe. The latter group included Storm Bird, sire of Storm Cat. For years, Taylor helped provide runners for the Ontario Jockey Club tracks by staging his own pre-priced yearling sales, and then in 1968 he elevated the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society yearling sale into the big leagues by selling Nijinsky II there.

Taylor capitalized on the Northern Dancer era to bring the world’s buyers to the Keeneland sales, which he consciously chose for the best Windfields consignments. In 1977, Taylor’s total of stakes winners bred reached 192, surpassing the previous record held by Harry Payne Whitney.

Taylor suffered a stroke in 1980, and the Windfields Farm and Stable management passed to his son, Charles.

Taylor was North America’s leading breeder in wins 19 times and earnings nine times. He bred 18 winners of Canada’s prestigious Queen’s Plate, including 11 of which he owned. Taylor was the recipient of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Breeder in 1977 and 1983.

A committee of 12 industry experts and historians, under the guidance of chairman Edward L. Bowen, comprise the Pillars of the Turf Selection Committee. The members include Bowen, Christopher Dragone, Jane Goldstein, Ken Grayson, Jay Hovdey, G. Watts Humphrey, Bill Marshall, Bill Mooney, Mary Simon, D.G. Van Clief, Michael Veitch, and Gary West.

Additional information about E. P. Taylor can be found here