For Teresa Palmer, the concept of family goes far beyond the bond of common ancestry. It’s the foundation her family’s breeding and racing business is built upon. The gregarious, long-serving FTHA Board member believes that a family atmosphere creates the teamwork and dedication that are vital elements of the success of Winner’s Circle Thoroughbreds, the farm that she and husband David started from scratch more than 20 years ago. Among the key personnel over the years at the farm, located in Morriston, Florida, are actual family members: daughter Tiffany, who has a degree in nutrition and is in charge of the farm’s feeding, therapy and rehabilitation programs; and son Nicholas, a fledgling trainer who just opened his own operation at Palm Meadows this spring. The Palmers have two other sons, David, Jr., who operates a business in the Palm Beach area, and Thomas, who is graduating in December with a master’s degree in Architecture from the University of Texas.
Born in Cuba, Palmer immigrated to the United States with her mother and two of her brothers when she was five years old. Her father, part of the opposition to the Castro regime, was jailed as a political prisoner when they left. He was released and came to America two-and-a-half years later as the household settled in the Palm Beach area and grew to include Palmer’s third brother. Though the family wasn’t involved in racing and didn’t even follow racing closely outside of the Kentucky Derby and other big races, Palmer says got into the sport because of a passion she shared with her father.
“My dad was a real animal lover and I got my love of animals and horses from him.”