Beyond riding around the estate and surrounding area with Eddie Taylor, some of my most favourite Windfields memories were the times I spent with his wife, Winnifred. She was charming, intelligent, gracious, all the while blessed with a wicked sense of humour and marvelous spirit. We often played backgammon. I doubt I ever won a game.
When Eddie was out of town we’d go to the races in her ancient Rolls Royce, a birthday gift from her husband. Her standard wager was a $5 place bet on one of the morning line selections.
Every fall Winnie would be found in the den surrounded by all sorts of dictionaries and reference books. Her job was to name the horses. Occasionally I was invited asked to assist. So when the lists of yearlings needing a name came out we were asked to tea. Always served at 4. Always accompanied by plates of biscuits.
Winnie, of course, chose the name Northern Dancer. Which is appropriate, as he was, essentially, her horse. Indeed, she was one of the very few people our feisty little Canadian fireball actually liked. A relationship that began when he was a foal and continued throughout their lives.
… to be continued