Get to know: Barry Taylor

Barry Taylor and the talented Cheveyo at the World Cup Qualifier earlier this year.

Barry Taylor and the talented Cheveyo at the World Cup Qualifier earlier this year.

Barry Taylor has been making waves in the equestrian scene for more years than we can count. We catch up with him with these 15 fun questions! Don’t miss Barry’s take on the South African equestrian industry in comparison to the rest of the world in the August issue of HQ!

What’s your nickname and why? 
B or BJ. Just what my family and friends called me from school days.

Do you own any pets?
Toby my Jack Russel. He is my best friend. I love him like one of my children. Tom (beagle) is the gentle soul of our family. Socks (Labra Dane) is supposed to be a Labrador. We also have two cats (Dipstick and Dot Com). We also have three pigs thanks to Ashlee, (Sally, Stripey and Stinky). Lastly, we have numerous chickens and rabbits.

What’s the funniest horse name you’ve ever come across? 
Dagwood, my pony. Dagwood was a cartoon character in the 70s. A scruffy grey pony but a fantastic jumper.

What motto do you live by?
Keep yourself in the best company and your horses in the worst company and you will always survive in this business (meaning as a person socialise with the best people, but ride in lower divisions to earn money).

What is your favourite movie and why?
Wolf on Wall Street. Just a great movie

What’s your favourite food and why?
Sushi. Eating it let’s you believe you are dieting even if you aren’t.

Biggest life changing moment?
Two great owners (Mike and Michaela Griffith, and Quinton and Liesel Jansen) and of course Nissan South Africa. They have allowed us to have great horses and to go out and achieve my dreams for 20 years.

Best horse you’ve ever competed on and why?
I’ve had many great horses. Powerforce made me in the sport when I was young and ignorant. Other incredible horses include Sunday’s Eagle, Checkpoint, Avalanche, Nabab Forever, Maniolia, Counter Attack, and now Chèveyo – who I think is equal to Powerforce in the twilight of my career.

If you could be any super hero, who would you be?
Superman. I believe I am.

What’s your worst habit?
I don’t really have a bad habit. Maybe saying what I feel. Sometimes I should keep my mouth shut.

Craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you ever do it again?
I just live life to the fullest. Lorette tries to slow me down – she says I think I am 20.

What makes you laugh?
My wife, children and some of the young guns in the sport (they know who they are).

Describe the perfect day
Being with Lor, my horses and children. I know they love me and we have fun even in serious moments. We can laugh at each other.

If you had one last dinner on earth, who would you have it with?
John Whittaker. He’s a great person and the greatest rider ever born. I’d love to just talk horses.

If your horse could talk, what would she say to you?
Counter Attack has the most character of any horse I have had. He’d say, “Wake up Dad. Be like you were 10 years ago. Let’s go get them). He is so animated in everything he does

Photography: Jessica Röll