Edward Plunket Taylor, one of Canada's leading industrialists purchased his first Thoroughbred race horse for $800 in 1936. From that modest beginning, he developed his Windfields Farm into one of the world's most influential breeding establishments.
From his first farm, on Bayview Avenue north of Toronto, Mr. Taylor expanded to Oshawa, when he acquired Col. R.S. McLaughlin's Parkwood stud in 1950. In the 1960s and 1970s he developed yet another major breeding farm in Maryland.
As the leading force in the Ontario Jockey Club after the Second World War, Mr. Taylor reorganized the archaic system of racing in the province, and most notably opened the new Woodbine race track in 1956. He was the first Canadian member of The Jockey Club (USA) and later became the first Chief Steward of The Jockey Club of Canada. He is a member of The Canadian Racing Hall of Fame and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame.
His most famous race horse was the legendary Northern Dancer who was the first Canadian-bred winner of the Kentucky Derby, in 1964, and then became the world's leading Thoroughbred stallion. Taylor and Windfields have also bred 21 Queen's Plate winners, three English Derby winners and a record 350 stakes winners.
In the early-1950s, after hiring an experienced herdsman from Scotland, Mr. Taylor began to develop an outstanding Aberdeen Angus herd. He also engaged a young Canadian, Jim Mowbray, who was to take over the herd and spark its great success.
During the late-1950s, Windfields Farm won numerous Angus championships at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. The farm dominated the Premier Breeder and other championship classes for 12 years after 1960 on the western Canada show circuit. At the Canadian National Exhibition, Windfields was selected as Premier Breeder every year from 1963 to 1972. The herd was dispersed in 1973 because of encroaching land development in the Bayview area.
During the Second World War, Mr. Taylor was a dollar-a-year man for the Canadian government. Working in Washington and London, as well as Canada, and surviving the sinking of his ship by a German submarine, he was a leader in the production and supply of billions of dollars worth of Canadian arms and munitions to the armed forces of all three nations. After the war, King George VI made Mr. Taylor a Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George in recognition of his services.