Press Release: Taylor Palmer, Jr. Receives The 2024 Spirit of the Horse Award

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The Rutgers Equine Science Center presented Mr. Taylor Palmer, Jr. with the 2024 Spirit of the Horse award for his decades of service to the New Jersey equine industry. The award was presented to Mr. Palmer during the Rutgers Equine Science Center’s 2023 “Evening of Science & Celebration,” sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Equine Medical Center.

Dr. Karyn Malinowski and Dr. Amy Butewicz presented Mr. Taylor Palmer, Jr. with the 2024 Spirit of the Horse award during the 2023 Evening of Science & Celebration. (From left to right – Dr. Karyn Malinowski; Mr. Taylor Palmer, Jr.; and Dr. Amy Butewicz.)

“When one thinks of the history of Standardbred harness racehorse breeding in the State of New Jersey, the name Taylor Palmer is always top of the mind for his vast contribution not only to the racehorse breeding industry but to the equine industry as a whole,” said Dr. Amy Butewicz as she read parts of her nomination letter to the crowd.

Mr. Palmer gained recognition through the ownership and operation of “his grand, meticulously maintained” Boxwood Farm located in historic Englishtown in the heart of Monmouth County horse country.

Mr. Taylor Palmer, Jr. poses with one of the many horses he handled over the years.

Over decades, Mr. Palmer focused on the fine details of harness racehorse breeding which embraced quality over quantity with what has been described as “some of the finest of yearlings” sold at the Lexington Selected Sale in Kentucky, and Harrisburg Black Book Sale in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Palmer has held a variety of leadership roles and continues to remain active in the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ). A strong supporter of connecting the equine industry with educational and research initiatives, Mr. Palmer was the founding Chair of the Rutgers University Board for Equine Advancement (RUBEA) and continues to hold Chair Emeritus status on RUBEA. This board of elected members assists the Rutgers Equine Science Center in its decisions regarding its equine teaching, research, and outreach; and promotes and supports these activities through fund-raising and advocacy efforts.

Mr. Palmer has also held positions on the Monmouth County Board of Agriculture (MCBOA), and in 2022 he was honored with the MCBOA Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also embraced the state initiative of Farmland Preservation, which included placing his very own Boxwood Farm into preservation status to ensure the land would remain free of future development.

Mr. Taylor Palmer, Jr. poses with his family (including his children and some of his many grandchildren), as well as Equine Science Center Founding Director Dr. Karyn Malinowski, for photos of the debut of his award.

“The ‘Spirit of the Horse’ award recognizes individuals whose lives have been profoundly changed because of their involvement with horses and who have acknowledged the impact by giving back to the horse industry,” said Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Founding Director of the Rutgers Equine Science Center.

“There is no other person that I can think of that has steadfastly spent decades fighting for, building, and preserving the equine industry in New Jersey. Taylor raised some of the finest mares and yearlings, dedicated his time to the agricultural community, and even allowed us to conduct groundbreaking research into weaning stress on his farm. Horses and the equine industry have certainly changed his life, but more importantly, he has profoundly changed the course of the New Jersey equine industry for the betterment of us all.”

For additional information, contact Kyle Hartmann at: or 848-932-9419.