Lola Crawford Racing: Interview With Taryn And Haley Crawford

Haley and Taryn Crawford with Spring Lightning at Greyville on 23 September. Image: Anneke Kitching
Haley and Taryn Crawford with Spring Lightning at Greyville on 23 September. Image: Anneke Kitching

We have a chat to Haley and Taryn Crawford of Lola Crawford Racing Stables, situated at Ashburton Training Centre. They are having a cracking new season, currently with 20% winners to runners percentage and 40% places.

How long have you both been training for?

Taryn:  We moved into the Ashburton training Centre in 2013, that’s when I took out my provisional stable employee licence and now I’m working towards my trainers licence.

Haley: Since 2013. I was part time at the stables from 2013-2017 where I was studying towards and completed my degree [B.Comm in Finance]. I’m not technically training as I’m just a stable employee. I have started riding work again on our horses, which has added a nice bit of excitement to my mornings.

 What is the most rewarding part of your work?

Taryn: Seeing the horses win races is defintely one of the most rewarding aspects of the job but I also really enjoy seeing the horses improve in their daily work. There is something very special about seeing horses you’ve literally known since day one, grow into the amazing animals that make it to the race track.

Chimichuri Run out of #kznbred Gr1 winning mare, Spiced Gold, takes the Gr3 Umkhomazi Stakes. Image: Candiese Marnewick
Chimichuri Run out of  Greenhill-bred Gr1 winning mare, Spiced Gold, takes the Gr3 Umkhomazi Stakes in 2018. Image: Candiese Marnewick

Haley: Definitely having the horses we have bred and worked with from day one run well in their races. Not just to have them win, but for the places too and mostly just to see them do their best and run with heart and with a good attitude. (People often comment on our ability to shout the horses home in a race – often asking if we have won, meanwhile we’ve just sneaked a 5th place. As long as our horses run well we are happy- the increase in stakes is just a big bonus!)

You both have degrees – what keeps you training horses?

Taryn:  A lot of passion mixed with a little bit of insanity. It’s a tough industry from the breeding all the way through to the end of a racehorses career but helping the animals we’ve breed live up to the hopes we as breeders place on them is great, stressful, but great.

Haley: Apparently it’s in our blood. And I’ve never quite liked the idea of an office job!

How many horses do you have in training?

Taryn: We have 15 in the Ashburton yard at the moment

Haley: 15 Currently in the yard with some babies still on our farm in Lidgetton.

Which horses have you bred yourself out of the yard (and winners) ?

 Taryn: At the moment there are 4 of the horses I bred in the yard and one of them is a winner, Silver Cent.           Hopefully one or two more of them will make it onto that list soon.

Haley: None of my own at the moment (I seem to claim some of my parents horses once they come into the yard), but I have two 2 year olds of my own that will be coming in soon.

You have horses related to Chimichuri Run whose dam was bred at your parents farm. Tell us more about who and their prospects?

Taryn: At the moment we have Silver Cent. He is out of a half-sister to Spiced Gold, who is the Dam of Chimichuri Run. To date Silver Cent is a 4-time winner and has done us very proud. He is his Dam’s 1st foal and we look forward to his half-sister by Crusade coming into the yard next year.

Haley: We also have a Crusade colt out of Spiced Princess (who is also half-sister to Spiced Gold) due into the yard next year.

Silver Cent, a 4-time winner. Image: Candiese Marnewick
Silver Cent, a 4-time winner, found success again in early August. Image: Candiese Marnewick

What do you do in your off time?

Taryn: Mainly more horse related things and a few craft hobbies. I’m bringing on a few OTTB’s for their second careers at the moment and that takes up most of my free time. I also enjoy reading when I get a gap for it.

Haley: Off time??  Mostly ride and try squeeze in a few show jumping, showing or eventing shows on our OTTB’s. Otherwise try and relax with friends and family.

Which is your favourite track – Greyville or Scottsville?

Taryn: Greyville, both the poly track and the grass track. We do more racing on the poly track and I much prefer it to the Scottsville grass track.

Haley: Greyville. Scottsville is much more convenient, but our horses seem to prefer Greyville and most of them seem do well on the poly track as well as on the grass.

 You have achieved a winners to runners percentage of 20% which puts you in good company for the new season. Horses to look for the in the future?

Taryn: We have some exciting 3 year olds that have come into the yard in the last few months and we have some nice older horses coming back from injury that we are very keen to get back to racing fitness. It will be interesting to see how they can do for us.

Haley: We don’t want to give too much away as “horses make fools us all”, but as Taryn said, we have some nice 3 year olds that have just come in as well as the horses coming back from injuries to look out for.

Congratulations and long may the success continue!


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