In a time when many are lamenting the lack
of skilled workers in the thoroughbred industry, Faith Taylor is doing her bit
to solve the problem.
Taylor sponsors one of two scholarships
that the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association award each year, the
Keith and Faith Taylor Equine Scholarship that supports the successful
candidate to attend the five-month Diploma Course at the Irish National Stud.
A keen traveller herself, it is easy to see
why Taylor is an advocate of the travel-to-learn approach.
“Travel is absolutely essential,” Taylor
said. “Living in New Zealand has many advantages, but we do live a long way
from other people,” she said.
“I have turned into a huge traveller and I
think it is very important for young people to be exposed to other experiences
and educational institutions.”
Taylor’s connection with horses was a
forgone event with her family’s involvement tracing back to her Great
Grandfather John Duncan who imported mares from the United Kingdom and
Australia in the 1880’s.
Her grandfather, Sir Thomas Duncan, her
father Ken and members of the extended family bred thoroughbreds for the sole
purpose of pursuing their passion for racing, while Taylor was the first of her
family to become a commercial breeder.
“My father had racehorses, my grandfather
had racehorses, great uncles, great aunts, everybody had horses,” Taylor said.
“We are nothing special, just a family from
the Rangitikei with an interest in thoroughbreds.
“I come from a long line of farmers with a
broodmare in the back paddock.”
In 1980 Taylor and her late husband Keith
bought a 170 acre property in Otaki named Waimanu. From there they bred
thoroughbreds and marketed yearlings at the Trentham sales.
In 1993 The Taylor family purchased
Trelawney Stud, which is managed by Taylor’s son Brent and wife Cherry.
Though she lives in Wellington, Faith is an
integral part of the team and a familiar face at sales time where she can be
seen running the hospitality tent at Karaka.
This is the perfect time for her to catch
up with scholarship winners who complete a six-month stint at Trelawney on
completion of the course at the Irish National Stud.
“I get to meet the young people at the
sales and it is great to see them working so hard and becoming so skilled,” she
“Brent, Cherry and the team at Trelawney do
a wonderful job and I am very proud of them.”
Faith’s contribution to the industry was
recognised at the recent awards held by the Wellington Branch of the New
Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.
The branch originally sponsored the Irish
National Stud scholarship till Faith took over in 2006. In recognition of this, her accomplishments
and continued support of the thoroughbred sector, she was presented with the
John A Higgs Award.
Brent Taylor is also a big supporter of the
scholarship process and sees it as a way of fostering young talent and
encouraging them to contribute back to the industry.
“They come back (from Ireland) and are
energised and enthusiastic and have seen something very different which creates
the drive to do better and share their knowledge with others,” he said.
“It is a real eye opener for them in a
positive sense which can only be good for not only the student, but the New
Zealand thoroughbred industry as a whole.”
“I would encourage anyone with a desire to
succeed long term in the thoroughbred industry to apply, whether their
interests lie in breeding, administration, trading or racing. Anyone with some
sort of ambition to make a genuine career in the industry and who is willing to
put in the hard work to further their education.”
For proof the scholarship process works you
only need to look down the list of past winners which includes Cameron Ring who
has recently joined the internationally renowned Waterford Bloodstock; Mark
Forbes, who trains out of Cambridge; Dylan Treweek, who plays an integral role
at Lyndhurst Farm; and Jason Smith, who is the foreman for the Baker-Forsman
Faith echoes her son’s sentiments and it is
evident she is eager for the scholarship winners to gain what they can from the
“They have been chosen because they shine
in some way. They must have a thirst for knowledge and a thirst for
experiences,” she said.
“They need to learn as much as they
possibly can, take in as much knowledge as they can, and remember the love of
the thoroughbred underlines everything.” -NZTBA