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Windfields Farm

Windfields Farm
Former type Horse breeding/Racing Stable
Industry Thoroughbred Horse racing
Predecessor National Stud of Canada
Founded 1936
Founder(s) Edward Plunkett Taylor
Defunct 2009
Headquarters Oshawa, Ontario
Canada, Canada
Key people 1) Edward Plunkett Taylor,
founder (1936-1980)
2) Charles P. B. Taylor, operator/owner (1980-1997)
3) Noreen Taylor & Judith Taylor Mappin
owner/operators (1997-2009)

Hall of Fame Trainers:
Gordon J. "Pete" McCann
Horatio Luro
Macdonald Benson
Divisions Chesapeake City, Maryland, United States

Windfields Farm is a six square kilometre (1,500 acre) thoroughbred horse breeding farm founded by businessman E. P. Taylor in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The first stable and breeding operation of E. P. Taylor originated with a property near the city of Toronto known as Parkwood Stable when it was owned by Colonel Sam McLaughlin of McLaughlin Automobile fame. The property was purchased by Taylor and became known as The National Stud of Canada until he sold it and bought a new property in Oshawa he called Windfields Farm in honor of his first great champion. As population growth overtook the operation, it eventually expanded to include a second farm in Chesapeake City, Maryland, United States.


The Northern Dancer legacy

Windfields Farm in Ontario is the birthplace of racing great and champion sire Northern Dancer, winner of the 1964 Kentucky Derby, in stakes record time, the Preakness Stakes, and the Queen's Plate. Retired from racing after the 1964 racing season, he went on to an even more brillant career at stud. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association states that Northern Dancer is "one of the most influential sires in Thoroughbred history." [1] and he is also regarded as the 20th century's best sire of sires. [2]

Led by Northern Dancer, in the 1960s Windfields Farm earned more prize money than any other stable in North American Thoroughbred racing. Windfields bred Northern Dancer's sons Nijinsky, Secreto, and The Minstrel, all of whom won England's most prestigious race, the Epsom Derby.

In 1968 a barn fire at the Maryland division resulted in the death of thirteen horses who had just arrived from the Canadian farm. Included in the horses that died were twelve mares, three of which were in foal to Northern Dancer and one to Nearctic. [3].

Northern Dancer spent most of his years at stud at the Maryland division which also became home to other sires such as Dancer's Image and Assert. A national icon in Canada, Northern Dancer died in 1990 at Windfields' Maryland farm but was returned to his birthplace in Oshawa for burial.

$1 million stud fee and world record offspring prices

Between 1974 and 1988, twelve times Northern Dancer yearlings led the Keeneland July Selected Yearling Sale by average price. In the 1983 Keeneland Sales horse auction, one of Windfields' colts, that would eventually be named Snaafi Dancer, became the first $10 million yearling. In 1984 his twelve yearlings sold for an unrivalled sale-record average of price of US$3,446.666. [4]

In the 1980s, Northern Dancer's stud fee reached US$1 million, an amount four to five times his rivals and a record amount that as at 2009 has not been equalled. [5]

Horses owned by Windfields Farm have won eleven Queen's Plate races, as well as the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Their horses have won the Canadian Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing twice, in 1959 and 1963. Windfields Farm and/or E. P. Taylor bred a world-record 48 champions and 360 stakes winners. [6]

Operations: 1980-2009

In 1980 E. P. Taylor was incapacitated by a stroke and his son Charles took over management of Winfields Farm. E.P. Taylor died in 1989 but Charles died in 1997 after which his widow Noreen and sister Judith Taylor Mappin took charge of the business. The Maryland division was sold in 1988 [7] and Rowland Farm and the Northern Stallion Station occupy the land.

The downsizing that began following the death of E. P. Taylor resulted in large portions of Windfields Farm being sold to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Durham College, which erected sports fields and parking lots on the farm's southeast corner. Farmlands on the east side of Simcoe Street are now housing developments. By 2008, the once vast estate that at its peak was home to more than 600 Thoroughbreds, had evolved to just a small private farm. [8] In November 2009 the Windfields Farm breeding operations were wound up. Its broodmares and weanlings were sent to be auctioned at the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Winter Mixed Sale [9] and its remaining bloodstock was sold at the Keeneland Sales in Lexington, Kentucky. Already engulfed by urban sprawl, Windfields has partnered with real estate developers to build residential homes on the bulk of property. Some of the farm's historic barns, the grave of Northern Dancer, plus a trillium forest where fifteen horses are interred, will be preserved as a commemorative park.

Thoroughbred burials at Windfields Farm in Oshawa include:

  • South Ocean (1967–1989)

Windfields Estate

Windfields Estate was the home of E. P. Taylor and was situated at 2489 Bayview Avenue in North York, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. It now houses the Canadian Film Centre, founded by filmmaker, Norman Jewison. The 10 hectare (25 acre) estate has been preserved as a heritage site.


Coordinates: Template:Coord/input/dms


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