Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor Honored with the Robert N. Clay Conservation Award

Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) is pleased to announce that Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor were honored with the 2019 Robert N. Clay Conservation Award at the 34th Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) National Awards dinner on September 7th in Lexington, Kentucky.

The award, established in 2014 as a partnership between TOBA and ELCR to help increase awareness of the importance of land conservation to the Thoroughbred industry and to serve as an inspiration to others within the industry, is presented annually at the TOBA National Awards dinner.

Wayne and Susie Chatfield-Taylor, long-time owners of Morgan’s Ford Farm, were motivated to purchase and place many farms in easement in order to preserve the historic farming community that they call home. The Lower Shenandoah Valley is legendary for producing good-footed horses and the Chatfield-Taylors are part of that tradition. The couple began preserving rural open space when they moved to the Shenandoah Valley in 1979 after purchasing Morgan’s Ford Farm (370 acres with two miles of Shenandoah River frontage). A condition of the sale was that the land be placed in permanent conservation easement with the Virginia Outdoors Foundation.

The Chatfield-Taylors have foaled nearly 500 foals at Morgan’s Ford Farm that have found their way to some 20 countries around the world. By preserving the historical, environmental, agricultural, and scenic rural open space, they have ensured that farming and horses have a future in this very historic region. The character of the land is much the same as it was when first surveyed by young George Washington who, in is 1748 journal, described it as being a fine asset to our young nation.

The Chatfield-Taylors purposefully purchased neighboring and area properties as they became available, and placed easements on those acreages, helping to preserve Shenandoah River frontage in conservation easement as well. Wayne and Susie have purchased a total of six farms to date, either singularly or with partners, and placed permanent easements on approximately 3,000 acres. Neighboring farmers, seeing what the couple has accomplished, have placed their own farms in easement, now totaling 21 contiguous farms and 6,500 acres in easement, and still growing.

In 2017, this northern part of Warren County, Virginia was recognized as the National Register Rockland Rural Historic District, one of the largest of its kind in the Commonwealth. Part of its heritage is the discovery of a free African-American settlement begun in 1790 named Smoke Town that existed for nearly a hundred years. Much of this can be attributed to the Chatfield-Taylors’ efforts in conserving land for horses.

About the Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR): ELCR builds awareness of the loss of lands available for horse-related activities and facilitates the protection and preservation of those lands. We work to ensure America’s equine heritage lives on and the emotional, physical and economic benefits of the horse-human relationship remains accessible. ELCR serves as an information resource and clearinghouse on conserving horse properties, land use planning, land stewardship/best management practices, trails, liability and equine economic development. For more information about the ELCR visit www.elcr.org or call (859) 455-8383.

 About the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA): TOBA, based in Lexington, Ky., was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization of leading Thoroughbred breeders and owners. TOBA’s mission is to improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders. Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, Claiming Crown, Ownership Seminars, Ownerview.com and the Sales Integrity Program. TOBA provides international representation for U.S. owners and breeders on the International Grading and Race Planning Advisory Committee, International Cataloguing Standards Committee and International Breeders Federation. Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) is the charitable arm of TOBA. TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse Inc., and is represented as a founding member on the board of directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.

For additional information, contact:
Holley Groshek, Executive Director
Equine Land Conservation Resource
Phone: 859-455-8383 /Email: hgroshek@elcr.org

*Photo available upon request


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