Home of Northern Dancer closing down

Windfields Farm, the legendary Canadian breeding operation that bred Northern Dancer, will disperse its remaining bloodstock at the 2009 Keeneland November Sale.

E. P. Taylor founded Windfields in 1936 and his son Charles Taylor took over the operation in 1980 and continued until his death in 1997.  The surviving members of the Taylor family have issued a press release stating they had reached the emotional decision to discontinue the thoroughbred operation.

“What my father started has lasted far longer than anyone imagined,” said Taylor’s daughter, Judith Taylor Mappin.  “Our horses have been so good to us.  It was tough to let go but it’s simply time to wind things up.”

E. P. Taylor became the first Canadian member of the US Jockey Club in 1953.  He bred Northern Dancer in his own name, and the Nearctic colt was voted champion three-year-old after winning the 1964 Kentucky Derby.  He went on to become one of the most influential sires in history.

Taylor received Eclipse Awards as Outstanding Breeder in 1977 and 1983, and Windfields has been North America’s leading breeder by prizemoney 9 times, by stakes wins 13 times, and by wins 19 times.

Windfields has been Canada’s leading racing stable 15 times, and runners bred there have won the Queen’s Plate a record 21 times.

An abbreviated list of Windfield-bred horses includes Northern Dancer’s three English Derby (G1) winning sons Nijinsky, The Minstrel and Secreto; Eclipse champions Devil’s Bag and Glorious Song; European champions Storm Bird, El Gran Senor, Shareef Dancer, Awaasif, Danzatore, and Try My Best; leading Canadian sires Vice Regent and Archers Bay, and influential sires Saint Ballado and Northern Taste.

Northern Dancer also sired Danzig who, in turn, sired Coolmore Stud’s bred-shaping stallion Danehill.