Nance Tapley-Peck's natural ability with horses began at the age of six. By the age of ten, she started showing Gymkhana and Western at local ETI shows at Hansen Dam Equestrian Center. She also rode in Endurance rides to Messenger Flats from Hansen Dam annually, covering 110 miles in two days.
Nance studied Horse Husbandry and later taught lessons at Pierce College in Canoga Park and worked for large animal veterinarians both in and out of surgery for five years. She also showed 22 head of Arabians for Mel and Georgia Heywood in San Luis Rey. She went on to learn Hunters and Jumpers with Don Swan at the Oaks while managing the 250-head Mission Viejo Equestrian Center. Nance's horizons broadened when she became the Conformation Expert and Bloodline Analyst at the Burbank Equestrian Center's Thoroughbred Sales Company which is now held at Barrett's in Pomona.
Nance's experiences at Burbank Equestrian Center led her to Lexington,
Kentucky, where she broke and rode horses for world-famous
Calumet Farm, Airdrie, and Elmendorf while galloping at Keeneland and Spendthrift
Training Center after grooming for a year. She also flew to Europe to purchase 25 racehorses
in England, France, and Ireland for American clients. Additionally, she acted as a consultant and trained sales personnel in California
and Kentucky for Don Engle's Sales Consignment.
In January of 1987, she galloped horses valued at over 5 million dollars and earned her first Thoroughbred Racehorse Trainer's license.
Upon returning to her Los Angeles birthplace, Nance galloped racehorses at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park for Hall of Fame trainers Charlie Whittingham, D. Wayne Lukas, Richard Mandella, Neil Drysdale, John Sadler, Mesch Tenney, Rex Ellsworth, and Jack Van Berg three times. When she was assistant trainer for Christian Dumone, they were leading trainer at Hollywood Park that year.
When Kentucky Derby winner Swaps' trainer, Mesh Tenney retired, his owner/trainer,
Rex Ellsworth, named Nance as Tenney's replacement. Nance won her first race as a trainer in 1988 at Pomona
Fairplex. Two weeks later she won her second race at Santa Anita with a Rex Ellsworth horse, and brought home 11 checks out of her first 14 starts. She was interviewed on television by famed race caller Trever Denman and written up in California Thoroughbred Magazine.
She has been recognized in national and international trade publications such as The Daily Racing Form, The Thoroughbred of California, The Thoroughbred Times, California Horsetrader Magazine, Malibu Times, and Simi Valley Acorn. She has also been interviewed on television and highlighted in local newspapers.
Nance trained for Hunter/Jumpers with Susie Hutchinson, Gretchen Tank, Mike Edrick, and Nick Karississi for many years. She attends annual George Morris clinics in Southern California and and has ridden in clinics with Joe Fargis and Rob Gage. She feels she can never learn enough: "If you go through a day without learning about horses, then you must have been sleeping!"
Nance has also been an active carded Judge for over 5 years and became a USHJA Certified H/J Trainer in 2014. She judged the H/J, Western, Trail, Reining, and Halter classes at the annual National ETI Convention in 2011 held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center and at other local shows.
Nance, along with her husband, Gary, is the proud owner of Peck Farm. In addition to running Peck Farm,
Nance also teaches horseback riding for parks and rec for Moorpark, Simi Valley, and Camarillo.
Nance has been galloping racehorses for over 35 years and on her 54th birthday, she galloped 18 horses at Hollywood Park. Not bad for an old gal! In 2011, Nance again got her exercise rider's license at Hollywood Park and Santa Anita and is currently galloping her homebred colt, Artax Chance, son of Untatar, by Artax who won the Breeder's Cup Sprint in 1999.