"Susan And Stanley Scott"
written by Susan Winslow
As published in The Equine Chronicle — October 2012
Susan and Stanley Scott are a formidable team. As the owners of the 1200 acre Haylo Farm in Ocala, Florida, they have made an indelible mark on the Quarter Horse and Paint Horse world through a tremendously successful breeding, training and sales program that spans decades. They specialize in producing champion Western Pleasure, Hunter Under Saddle and Longe Line competitors, and their stallions have produced leading horses in a wide variety of Western disciplines, including World Champion titles in AQHA, APHA and NSBA competition. Susan’s show career includes multiple World Championships and the unique honor of becoming the first Non-Pro to be inducted into the prestigious NSBA Quarter Million Dollar Club in 2011.
Although she has throttled back her rigorous competition schedule due to dealing with diabetes for 45 years, Susan still has a passion for horses and the sport fostered by her mother when she was a child. Susan says with a laugh, “I retired from the show ring....twice....but I just couldn’t stay out of it. I just love horses and competition too much to ever give it up. I miss not being as active in showing as I was, but I still have a hand in it, watching our daughter, Nancy Wilkerson, and cheering for all the horses out there that we’ve bred, trained or sold.” Susan says she will always feel a strong connection to the Haylo Farm horses, “Whenever I hear the name of one of ‘our’ horses called out, it makes me proud. It’s exciting to me to see the horses and their owners out there doing well. I still love all of it!”
Susan’s passion for horses started early, when her mother announced that their move from New York to Florida would include a horse for then seven year-old Susan and her nine year-old sister to share. Susan recalls, “It certainly made the move easier! It was a real backyard horse, but I loved it from the beginning. My mom, Caroline Powers, was very Supportive of my riding, and when I got interested in showing, she took me everywhere. She had grown up in Chicago, riding in the parks, and she loved horses, too. My dad didn't want any part of it, but he supported our habit!” Susan did local gymkhanas and breed shows before moving on to the WHAF circuit and Quarter Horse competition by the time she was 15.
Susan continued to compete, with her eye on national competition. She says, “My parents bought me my first registered Quarter Horse yearling, which I trained and showed at my first AQHA show when she was two. That was it. I was hooked! It was so rewarding, and so much fun to bring along a horse and then take it to a show to see what we could do. I remember when I was trying to break into national competition in those early days, going off to do the circuit, along with a friend like Joey Shortino, who is now a top trainer, and my talented mare named Tammy Wynette. We had so much fun and we never forgot that trip! She was a great mare and I learned so much from her and that experience. When I run into Joey at shows, we still laugh about that time in our lives because the learning curve was steep for all of us and we had a lot of fun along the way.”
Susan’s show career took off, and through the years she earned big wins including 1995 Non-Pro Two Year-Old Western Pleasure Congress Champion with Docs Outta Town, 1996 AQHA High Point Amateur Western Pleasure, 2000 AQHA Amateur Western Pleasure World Champion with Huntin For Chocolate, 1994 Congress Amateur Western Pleasure Champion with Forever A Zippo, and numerous NSBA High Point Non-Pro Rider honors. She has seen a lot of changes since the days when she and Tammy Wynette could take championships in multiple divisions at the same show.
She says, “It has become so specialized now. The caliber of the horses, training and riding has improved consistently through the years, so when you’re riding at the elite level, you’re up against intense competition. I tell my daughter when she’s at a World Championship, ‘These are all such great horses, anyone can win on a given day. If you are beat by a truly great horse, you just appreciate the quality of that horse and the good ride it put in that day.’ But when you’re up against that kind of competition and you win, it’s an incredible feeling of accomplishment. Good horses definitely raise the bar for all of us and that helps the industry as a whole.”
Susan has always loved the challenge of figuring out a horse and bringing out the best in it. She also shares credit For her success, saying, “I’ve been lucky enough to ride and compete with many amazing and talented horses. I’ve also been privileged to have worked with many talented trainers.” Susan is Thoughtful for a moment when asked if she had a mentor or person in her life who influenced her riding. She says, “I think I’d have to say that my mother was my greatest influence. She was with me every step of the way, encouraging my riding and hauling me all over the place when I was young. I also have to thank Stanley because he has an incredible eye for a good horse. His talent with the breeding aspect of the farm and finding exceptional horses has been a big part of our success.”
A friend introduced them at a show, and although Stanley wasn’t an active competitor, he knew horses. The couple married, and with the purchase of Haylo Farm, they embarked on their dream of starting their own breeding operation. Susan says, “We started with five horses and it just grew. We’ve had over 150 horses at a given time on the farm, along with our cattle, and it’s been a lot of work but a lot of fun. We’re fortunate in that we don’t earn our living on the wins alone, but we are very committed to producing quality horses that win.” Haylo Farm has a well-earned reputation as one of the leading breeding and sales operations in the country with a wide assortment of top quality horses for sale, from weanlings to finished show horses. The farm breeds their own band of carefully selected mares and offers frozen semen from multiple World Champion sire Natural Iron. This magnificent athlete earned Superiors in Trail, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, Hunter Hack, Working Hunter and Hunter Under Saddle and close to 500 points in eight events.
Stanley handles the breeding side of the farm. This gifted horseman has a lifetime of horse knowledge and an encyclopedic memory for Quarter Horse bloodlines, with a special affinity for the Zippo Pine Bar line. He says, “I always respected Bob and Ann Perry and Joe and Suzy Jeanne for the job they did with that horse. We bought some Zippo mares and they formed a strong foundation for our breeding program when crossed with different studs.” Haylo Farm has bred, raised, shown and sold some of the top horses in the country. The offspring from these crosses have been very successful in the show ring,But also are some of the leading stallion sires of today. Stanley says, “That’s very rewarding to me because with a good start combined with good owners, riders and trainers along the way, these horses will have long, successful careers. That’s what you strive for in this business.”
The Scotts were recognized by the AQHA in 2006 when they were honored as AQHA Breeders of the Year. That same year they added Most Wins and Most Winners to their list of AQHA achievements. Stanley is quick to credit others for their success, saying, “Susan has done a good job in the show ring and our daughter, Nancy, was a successful Youth competitor who is still out there going strong. She is following her parents’ success with multiple Congress, AQHA and NSBA World Championships. We’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of talented young trainers get their start with us and go on to their own success in this industry. That’s also a good feeling; to see them out there doing so well.”
For Stanley and Susan, the travel, time and dedication to their horses never gets old. Susan says, “I still love to go to the shows. The Select World is one of my favorites because my ideal day is to end at 5 p. m., not 9 or 9:30 because half the fun is connecting with old friends and going out together after a day of showing. We’ve made some great friends along the way.”
As much as they love their horses and thrive on their busy schedule, the Scotts make sure to keep a healthy balance in their life. They do it by spending time with family, traveling and relaxing. Susan smiles when she says, “I’m a girl’s girl. I love to shop, and I love to travel To interesting places. Stanley loves to travel, too, but give him a fishing rod and he’s happy anywhere!” Stanley responds, “I do enjoy sport fishing and I love being out on the water. Deep sea fishing is one of my favorite things to do.” He is modest, and doesn’t mention the fact that in 2008, he saved the lives of a father and son while heading out for a day of deep sea fishing with friends. According to newspaper accounts, Stanley and his boating party were on his boat, Open Range, when they spotted a man in the water six miles off the coast of Florida. They rescued him, and called in additional search and rescue to find his son who had become separated from his father during their fourteen hour ordeal in the water. Miraculously, the son was also found alive within the hour.
There’s no doubt that the Scotts have been touched by good fortune in their lives, whether it’s Susan overcoming medical setbacks to reach the pinnacle of her show career with induction into the NSBA Quarter Million Dollar Club, or fate putting Stanley in the position to save the lives of a father and son lost at sea. Hard work has also been an integral part of their success, and when asked what their proudest accomplishments are, they both respond, “Our family, our grandchildren and our horses.” When asked what’s next for Haylo Farm, Susan says, “All my favorites: the NSBA World Show, the Reichert, the Congress. When you love what you do, it just keeps getting better.”
Thank you to the Equine Chronicle for use of this article.
10624 NW Hwy 225 A
Ocala, Florida 34482