Growing up between the eastern and southern reaches of Colorado, Taylor had cattle ranching in his blood from the get-go. By way of his family’s ranching, Taylor naturally took to the horse and parlayed his innate ability in the saddle and love for riding into competing in the reining in his early teens. At 15 he discovered the reined cow horse and the rest, as they say it, is history. There was no looking back. He developed his skills apprenticing under top-tier trainers and knew that the cow horse would be a part of his future.
As Taylor came to college age, he earned an ROTC scholarship and attended the University of St. Mary in Leavenworth, Kansas with the mission to earn his bachelor’s degree then serve his country. Upon graduation he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He trained for several years through specialty schools in the military before being stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. Just a week after arriving, he was deployed to the mountains of Afghanistan’s Kunar province where he spent a year leading an infantry platoon. After over 150 firefights serving alongside his men, Taylor and his platoon returned home safely. Upon re-entry stateside, he felt called to return to his original passion, the horse.
While completing his duty with a final year in the U.S. Army, Taylor began to take on a few outside horses for training while further apprenticing under some of the best in the cow horse world. Those apprenticeships allowed him to experience stints training horses in both Montana and Arizona before eventually landing in Texas and building Gillespie Performance Horses together with his wife, Jen.
Taylor and Jen have built a thriving performance horse business that’s rooted in deep friendships with their clients and a solid family foundation, which now includes their two young boys. “We can always gain something from the horse,” he says. “I wouldn’t do anything else.” Taylor trains and shows primarily reined cow horses, but also team roping, cutting and reining horses. In the show pen, Taylor has had resounding success, being crowned the NRCHA Eastern Derby Intermediate, Limited and Novice Horse Open Champion with Reyzin Cane, known by his barn name “Preacher.” Taylor is also an active NRCHA judge and pointed toward more success as a trainer and showman in the future.
“If we don't care for these horses very well, they're not going to be able to perform. It’s our responsibility as riders to take the best care of them, and I’m very particular. I use Platinum Performance GI primarily, because I’m a big gut health guy. We’ll also use Platinum Performance CJ and Healthy Weight oil. This kind of nutrition is paramount for these upper-level athletes.”
Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, Healthy Weight is supportive in many ways including skin, coat, gastric, and muscle health. For horses that need to gain weight, Healthy Weight provides calories in addition to forage. It is made from flax oil, a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it a healthy alternative to corn oil. The 1-gallon Healthy Weight now comes in an easy tip-to-measure container made from a material that protects the formula from degradation due to UV light. Administration of the 5-gallon Healthy Weight oil is easier with the Healthy Weight Pump, sold separately.
This athlete is a sponsored endorsee and actual client.