By Sarah Welk Baynum

Terri Latner is a small breeder who loves being in the Florida Thoroughbred industry and raising her foals to be the best they can be.

Latner’s introduction to the world of Thoroughbred racing started in 2005 after taking a job at Midwest Feed and Hay.

“They operated five locations in the North Central Florida area and I worked as their farm consultant. Then in 2015, I was hired by OBS Feed & Supply working in the same role as farm consultant,” Latner said.

Those 20 years as a farm consultant built a number of long-lasting relationships in the Florida Thoroughbred community.

“Those relationships gave me the opportunity to partner with some local Thoroughbred owners on a few pinhook prospects of weanlings to yearlings. I fell in love with the process of developing these young horses and eventually this passion led me to purchasing a couple of mares to raise my own crop.”

Her first two mares came as a package deal—which would later pay off better than she could have imagined.

“The mare, a yearling filly by Ride On Curlin, a weanling and a foal in-utero came together. The Ride On Curlin filly was a scruffy, small, underfed yearling that had clearly fell through the cracks. However, there was something in that little filly’s eye that begged me to give her a chance. At that time, I had joined Shooting Star Racing Syndicate which is operated by Mary Lightner and Lisa Goodin. Since I was already partnered with Mary in the syndicate, I asked her to take in the Ride On Curlin filly for training. Mary did an amazing job with the filly, who is now known as Curlin’s Choir. The filly entered and won her first race in Miami by eight lengths!”

Latner later sold Curlin’s Choir and she has since been claimed by Linda Rice.

“She has had seven starts since 2022 and was in the money every single time but one. The heart and honesty of this little filly made me fall even more in love with this life of Thoroughbreds,” Latner said.

But for Latner, being part of the birth of her first few foals is one of her most special moments as a horse owner.

“Nothing can really beat the feeling of seeing our first two Florida homebred colts being born. One was by the late Jess’s Dream and the other was by Breaking Lucky. These two colts are promising 2-year-olds this year and I cannot wait to see what they do.”

Latner says that Florida will always be home and that it has also been the best place to start her breeding program because of the support of fellow Floridians in the Thoroughbred industry.

“I love the people here and their passion for our industry. My mare band has grown from two mares to six over the last few years. I am still a small breeder, but we face the same challenges as everyone else in the industry. I hope to be a part of offering quality Florida-bred horses to the racehorse industry and help put Florida on the map for raising champion racehorses. I am also thrilled this year with the quality of stallions here in Florida.”

Five of her mares will be bred to Florida stallions this year and she currently has two weanling Chance It fillies, a weanling colt by Magic On Tap and a weanling filly by Magic On Tap.

“My goal is to offer these youngsters at the January OBS Sales and represent the breeders of Florida with outstanding babies,” Latner said.

“The people in our industry are just amazing. There have been a few women in particular that have really helped mentor me through the breeding process. From helping me acquire mares, to talking me through foaling on my own, or just being there to say ‘you’ve got this’ on days when I’ve felt like throwing in the towel.

“Every aspect of this business is tough. But I do believe that breeding and maintaining mares, and producing foals, has got to be one of the most challenging. I could not have done any of this without the support of friends in the industry and my very supportive husband and family.” Latner said.

Return to the May 14 issue of Wire to Wire