Taylor says she was 'bred' into horse racing. Being around horses from a young age, Taylor knew she was destined to be horsewoman.
"My parents are divorced and I spent a great deal of time with my mom (Barb). The only time I would be at the barn or the track was when I spent a weekend with my dad (Rusty)." Taylor continues, "Going into the 7th grade, I moved out to my dad's house and that's when I got more involved with (the horses)."
After high school, Taylor went to Fanshawe College for Fashion Merchandising. After working in the fashion field for a couple of companies, Taylor came to understand that working with horses is what she truly wanted to do.
Taylor obtained her trainer's license last December and in March Taylor tallied her first training victory at Western Fair (London, ON)!
Looking back at her first win, Taylor was not sure her horse even won. "Where we stand at Western Fair, you can't really tell" says Taylor. "I was watching the TV, and then back at the track, then back to the TV. I was like 'Aww he got beat'. Looking at the win photo it was so close; the other horse could have got him in the next stride."
"Then I heard (starter) Brad yell 'Test #3' and that was me so I was all excited and went to the winner's circle."
That win photo is framed and on the fridge at the stables' office. "It was my first win and it was the first win for the stable this year, so we started a tradition that every win we have goes on the fridge" Taylor explains. "The office is really my dad's man cave and that's where we throw all of our parties."
What came to mind was Taylor decorating it, floor to ceiling with win photos throughout the entire room. When posed with the question what will happen when she gets to 500 wins? Taylor opted to think about that scenario when the time comes.
"It was hard to get your first" Taylor admits with a laugh, "and it's harder to get your second."
Through the summer, Taylor has been racing her horses at Dresden Raceway, Hiawatha Horse Park (Sarnia, ON) and Clinton Raceway. Once Leamington Raceway kicks off in September, you will see Taylor there cheering on her horses.
When it comes to travelling, Taylor is all for it, though it can be tiring as Taylor works the night shift for a trucking company where she handles the customs paperwork. "I work Wednesday through Saturday from 9pm to 730am" Taylor confirms. "I make sure all my transports can cross through customs without any problems. I deal with trucks crossing in British Columbia, Alberta, Windsor and Quebec. Working with customs isn't always easy."
"Sunday mornings when I get back from work, we are kind of rushed as its two hours from Sarnia to Clinton." Taylor continues, "I'm pretty tired.... Sometimes I don't go out the barn and my dad will get on me saying I should be in the barn. After working 40 hours night shift, it's hard to get to the barn. Driving home you're dead tired and it's like I don't want to fall asleep jogging horses."
Working night shift is a tough adjustment. Some people think it's easier than a day job, but for anyone who has worked night shifts; it's physically and mentally draining. Plus working night shifts makes one feel segregated from society at times.
Looking forward, Taylor has a two-year-old named Casimir Ozzy, who she is hoping to get on the track soon. "I think he'll be really good, maybe not a preferred but pretty good." Taylor states.
With Taylor learning more and more, she believes in time she will be getting higher into the claiming game. Taylor admits, if she has questions that can help her learn, she is not afraid to ask.
"You have to work from the bottom to make your way up" says Taylor. "You need to work with 3 claimers to learn and understand. When you have a good horse, of course it's easier."
Flat out, Taylor acknowledges she gets along better with Colts and Geldings opposed to Mares. "It could be a Mare thing where our attitudes might clash. I think it might be a 'who wants to be the boss' situation" laughs Taylor. "Colts and Geldings are much more laid back."
Down the road, Taylor has full intentions of owning more horses and becoming a regular name in the racing program. Don't be surprised if you see her at the sales, stocking up!
Taylor will be heading out to Hoosier Park in Indiana this weekend to watch her friends' horses race. Two years ago Taylor went to the Little Brown Jug and she has plans on going again this year. Taylor may be a spectator this year at the Jug but it won't be long until she is the trainer of horses competing in such races.
If anyone has a 'can do' attitude, it is Taylor. Despite working 40 hours at a night shift job and working at the barn, she's always smiling and outgoing.
Taylor sincerely thanks her friends and family who have helped and supported her. As well, Taylor thanks her dad for everything he has taught her about horses and it's because of him that she's training horses.
By Roderick Balgobin, for Harnesslink.com