Key People at Woodspring Farm

Kathy Priest

Judi Tudor a.k.a. “The Boss” is Kathy’s personal groom and long-time friend with many talents.  “She’s the boss,” says Kathy.  “Whatever she says goes.”  Judi shows Prix St. Georges and I1 and earned her silver medal in 2006 on her horse Utopia.

Judi bought the 1994 gelding seven years ago while on a two-and-a-half day whirlwind trip to Holland and Germany with Kathy.  “Because of Kathy I got my silver medal so I am eternally grateful,” says Judi.  “She’s certainly made me better than I ever thought I would be.”  Judi enjoys working with Kathy for many reasons.

“She’s always clear with what she wants,” says Judi.  “It’s black or white; the lines are really clear.  She’s always willing to give everybody more than her time allows any hour of the day, night or morning.  You can always count on her.”

Denise Needham has been Kathy’s assistant for the last 12 years and keeps the farm running while the group heads to Florida.  “She usually stays home with a small group of horses,” says Kathy.  “Last winter she had a baby so I took everything with me.  This year she’ll probably stay home with a group of younger horses and possibly some sale horses.”  This year Kathy will bring anywhere from 12 to 14 horses to Florida to compete.

Sommerville is a full-time student at the University of Kentucky and will graduate in May 2009.  She also works at Woodspring including full-time over the summers and in the winters in Florida.  The plan is for her to come on board full-time when she graduates.  “I didn't know there was a difference between a leg yield and a half pass when I started my dressage career with Kathy and have since earned my bronze and silver medal with Kathy,” says Sommerville.

“As far as an instructor, she is wonderful,” says Sommerville.  “I know she cares as much about my success as I do.  She keeps dressage simple and easy and a very positive experience for her horses and riders.  I began my dressage career with her three years ago and have climbed from first level to I1 with much success at all levels.  When I'm in the show ring, I know she is riding every step with me.”

Life Beyond Horses