LQHBA Insider - By Martha Claussen July  25, 2024


Lyle Guillory is a man of many talents! In addition to running his business, he finds time to own and breed racehorses, as well as dedicate countless hours to furthering racing in Louisiana.

It's impossible to pinpoint one source of Guillory's drive and motivation, but he will admit that growing up as an athlete shaped his competitive drive. He played four sports in high school and earned a college scholarship in track and field.

He maximizes his time commuting between his home in Alexandria and his business in Houston, juggling the steering wheel and at least two cell phones. Staying busy is a way of life for Guillory and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious!

Family Ties
Guillory was born in Eunice and grew up in Mamou and Lecompte. His dad, Carl, and his uncle, Larry Fusilier, introduced Lyle and his brother, Carl, Jr.to the brush tracks.

"I remember those great pork chop sandwiches and everyone whooping and hollering during the races," stated Guillory. "Once you get your feet wet, you are pretty much hooked!"

"Dad owned Ms Jess Perry and when he passed away in 1997, my brother asked me if I wanted to breed her to Chicks Beduino," recalled Guillory.

The foal, born March 9, 2000 was named Gros Oreille. He made four starts as a 2-year-old, and embarked upon a successful second career as a stallion.

Several other men proved to be very influential mentors to Guillory. John Soileau, who was a close friend of his dad's and Teddy Abrams, Jr. each had an impact on him.

"John took me under his wing and got me involved in racing," said Guillory. "I met Teddy through Heath Taylor. When you have partners like those guys, who are so knowledgeable and fun, you don't even mind spending money!"

Successful horses included Andalay Get, Make A Secret and Jess Zoomin. He and Abrams bred Mr Piloto, who went on to win the 2010 All American Futurity (G1).

Guillory is fascinated with breeding racehorses and describes the process of studying pedigrees and shaping a future champion as an "intriguing" process.

Soileau and Guillory had a foal share and on February 28, 1999, a bay son of Corona Cartel out of Do It to It Reb was born. Guillory name the foal Tee Cos.

"The name means "Little Casino", which was my dad's, name as a Golden Gloves champion," said Guillory.

Tee Cos was a promising 2-year-old, running third to Ochoa in the 2011 All American Futurity. Retired at the end of 2012, he stands at Blanchet Farms and from his very first crop, continues to gain acclaim as a leading Louisiana sire.

Good Friends
Guillory would never argue with the statement that horsemen working together have made Louisiana racing what it is today. He credits the teamwork with owner Teddy Abrams, Jr. and jockey Alvin Brossette who accompanied him to Baton Rouge to meet with legislators, urging them to consider mandated race dates in Louisiana.

Joe Manucy trains for Guillory and had a long association with the Fusilier and Guillory families.

"He's a great owner; wants to win races but will take his time if a horse is not ready to run," explained Manucy. "Lyle stays involved and wants to know what's going on, both the good and the bad. We have a good relationship and talk a lot, but I am fortunate in that he leaves the training to me."

He was asked if Guillory ever gets rattled.

"He doesn't," replied Manucy. "His response to challenges is not to stress, because he won't dwell on the past. He'll just say, ‘can't worry about that' and move forward."

Goals for LQHBA
Guillory is a long-term board member of the Louisiana Quarter Horse Breeders Association and became president at the April 8 membership and board meeting.

His energetic personality and love for the industry fuels his vision for the association.

"We need to continue to push for expanded gaming," stated Guillory. "And we have to work together to make racing better and present a product that people want to see. Our million-dollar race is hugely important to our association and we are working to raise the LQHBA Sale Futurity purse to a half-million dollars."

He points to the resurgence of Nascar, which has done an outstanding job of attracting mainstream audiences and sponsorships.

"I'm a firm believer that you have to always keep pushing forward; never stay stagnant," said Guillory. "As the world changes, you have to as well."

Of course, like so many leaders in the racing industry, Guillory believes that appealing to younger audiences is a necessity for the sport. He is pleased with the support of the association members and sponsors in supporting the LQHBA scholarship program.

"Older breeders are retiring and we need to ensure that future generations remain involved," stated Guillory. "Ten years from now, we do not want to have to rely on out-of-state people running our industry."

Guillory and his wife, Angela, reside in Alexandria, with their four children: Alexis, Baylee, Chaselyn and Gabriel. His family enjoys racing in Louisiana and summer vacations in Ruidoso, New Mexico.

"I hope my kids will find a love for racing the way I have," added Guillory.

Tony Patterson, executive director of LQHBA, is thrilled to have Lyle at the helm this year.

"It would be hard to find anyone with as much passion and drive to grow our association," said Patterson. "Lyle knows racing from so many points of view. He is a great businessman, communicator and advocate for racing and breeding. And when it comes to developing relationships with legislators, there is no one better than Lyle."

Manucy agrees and knows that Guillory will serve the association well in his tenure as president.

"Lyle has great instincts and is never too busy to talk about the industry and listen to feedback," stated Manucy.

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The LQHBA Insider is a monthly feature written by Martha Claussen for www.lqhba.com. She served as publicity director at Sam Houston Race Park for ten years. She continues to be active in writing, fan education and Quarter Horse racing publicity in Texas, Louisiana and other regions in North America.