Mike Taylor Benefit Set for Sunday

The benefit for the critically injured trainer takes place at Wyoming Downs.

Edited press release

An auction to benefit injured horseman Mike Taylor will take place at Wyoming Downs on Sunday.

It took just a second for longtime Intermountain region horseman Mike Taylor’s truck to collide with a semi near Lava Springs, Idaho on June 10.  Since that moment, Taylor has battled back from days of unresponsiveness to stable condition and now faces a long road to recovery.  That recovery will involve treatment of the crushing injuries to his left side and severe trauma to his back, neck and head.

To help Taylor with expenses, Wyoming Downs and horsemen across the country have rallied to help “one of their own,” said Brande Koltiska. Koltiska is the organizer of the July 24 silent and live auctions scheduled during races at Wyoming Downs Racetrack between the 11:30 opening and the day’s last race.

“It’s been an amazing response,” Koltiska said. “Everywhere Mike’s raced, people have come out to support him. We’ve had generous donations from horsemen in Texas, Montana, Idaho, Iowa, Oklahoma, Wyoming and beyond. They’re all behind Mike. Half of them don’t even know him.”

That hasn’t stopped Taylor’s fellow horsemen from contributing more than 100 items. Among the auction items is a stallion showcase featuring at least 25 stallion breedings.

“We also have donations of a tool set, TV, grill and even a mini Australian puppy known as an Aussie -- all are up for auction,” said Koltiska.

The full slate of items can be seen on the Mike Taylor Fundraiser page on Facebook.

Taylor has won leading trainer honors in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming; in 2014, he was leading trainer at Wyoming Downs. A native of Ogden, Utah, Taylor has a history with Wyoming Downs that has spanned 25 years.

“Today, Mike and his son, Josh, bring a big barn of horses to Wyoming Downs for the season,” said Wyoming Downs owner Eric Nelson.

Taylor and Josh have a family business with at least 30 horses in their care.  Josh has taken over management of the stable in his father's absence.

“Eric, at Wyoming Downs, was the first person I called the day after Mike’s accident,” said Koltiska. “Eric said, 'We have an auction event that day – we’ll use it raise money for Mike.’”

The auction will be held indoors at the lower level and will be situated at the south end of the grandstand with bidding taking place throughout the day.  Winning bids will be announced as selected auctions close throughout the day. Winners need not be present and cash, credit and debit cards will be accepted. In addition to the auction, raffles will be held throughout the day.

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