JOE TAYLOR: OUR MENTOR

"We are in the business to bring your equine dreams to life" 
Joe Taylor's book
Joe Taylor was a horseman. He grew up with horses and understood horses and liked being around horses. It was an uncomplicated relationship he had with them. He grew up during a time when you did right by the horse, all the time, not just when it was convenient, and you did right by the people you dealt with. You were honest, all of the time, not just when it was convenient. As a youngster, he spent summers on his father's farm in Lawrenceburg, KY., working with Standardbreds and learning about the horse business. While others went to college after high school, Joe Taylor went to the race track. Again, he learned. He watched the old horsemen and made notes. He respected their knowledge. He wanted to know what they knew.

In 1952, Joe and his young wife Mary Emily visited Clarence Gaines's Gainesway Farm in Lexington. Mr. Gaines hired Joe, and soon Joe became the operation's farm manager. In his time there, Gainesway was transformed from a successful Standardbred farm into a successful Thoroughbred farm. Kentucky Derby and Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe winners were sired by Gainesway stallions. Champions were raised there. Despite the accomplishments of Gainesway, or maybe because of them, Joe Taylor never forgot the lessons he learned as a youngster on his father's farm: you create your own success through effort. Joe Taylor was the kind of guy that drove nails and put up fences and mucked stalls. He liked work, he liked the effort. In his almost 40 years at Gainesway, Joe Taylor became one of the most respected horsemen in Kentucky by being smart, forthright, and dedicated. He taught and assisted countless other horsemen along the way, including his own sons, and even wrote a book, A Complete Guide to Breeding and Raising Race Horses. He wanted to share what he had learned. At Taylor Made, Joe Taylor's lessons of hard work, honesty and integrity are still being heeded; his ideals are still our ideals. John Gaines wrote this foreword in Joe Taylor's book: 

Foreword It was in the fall of 1952 that Joe Taylor accompanied by his wife, Mary Emily, answered a help wanted ad that my father, C.F. Gaines, master of Gainesway Farm, placed in the classified pages of the Lexington, Kentucky Herald Leader.I listened to my father interview Joe and then watched as he examined the palms of Joe's hands to see if they had any calluses. A deal was made but certainly none of us realized at the time that destinies of Gainesway Farm and Joe Taylor would be one and the same. It took all of one year for Joe to advance from mucking stalls and grooming yearlings to Farm Manager and star salesman. Under Joe's guidance, Gainesway was to own or breed without exception the winners of every major trotting horse stakes in North America, including the Hambletonian twice and the Kentucky Futurity four times. When we established Gainesway Farm's Thoroughbred division in November, 1962. We grew from one stallion and a handful of mares, into an operation of forty stallions breeding two thousand mares a year. Five Gainesway stallions were to lead the Sires List in America, England and France, and their progeny included two winners of the Kentucky Derby and eight winners of the Prix de l' Arc de Triomphe.In the breeding shed, on the race track and in the sales ring, Gainesway Farm's record speaks for itself and is irrefutable evidence of the high professionalism and keen intelligence that Joe Taylor brings to every aspect of Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing. At the highest level, a Farm Manager must play many roles. Joe is not only a complete horseman but he is also an agronomist, builder, geneticists, caretaker, nutritionists, salesman, entrepreneur, executive, promoter, accountant, arborist, midwife, dealmaker, diplomat and handyman. Joe is truly a man for all seasons but everyone who knows him understands that his real business is helping people and that is why he wrote this book. 

This Complete Guide to Breeding and Raising Racehorses will surely become a classic of its type and could only have been written by someone with the lived experience and communication skills, of my comrade-at-arms these many years, Joe Taylor. I must extend one word of caution to you readers, Joe would be the first to tell you that if you don't get calluses on your hands after reading this book, it won't do you that much good. 

John R. Gaines
Lexington, Kentucky
June 11, 1993.

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