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Horse racing Canada: Northern Dancer gets full museum treatment

Northern DancerBy James Adams 

Back in the day, Windfields Farm was something – more than 600 hectares of bucolic rolling countryside near Oshawa, Ont., owned by business tycoon and thoroughbred horse-breeder E.P. Taylor (1901-1989)

It was Windfields Farm that was home to Canada’s most famous racing horse, Northern Dancer, winner of the 1964 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. It was Windfields Farm that, in the 1960s, earned more prize money than any other stable on the continent, where Northern Dancer retired and, with a stud fee reaching $1-million (U.S.), proceeded to sire dozens of champion stallions before his death in 1990. 

With the decline in the thoroughbred-racing industry, though, operations were wound down in 2009 and much of the once-vast estate sold to real-estate developers. 

The legacy is not dead, however. On Friday, the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau is announcing that it’s taking into its permanent collection the Windfields Farm Collection. Recognized by the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board as having “outstanding significance and national importance,” the potpourri of documents, photographs, memorabilia and trophies – 97 in total, including Northern Dancer’s Kentucky Derby cup – is being donated by the Taylor family. 

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Press Release, September 27th 2013 from Canadian Museum of Civilization

More on this story from The Ottawa Citizen