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By Heide Middlebrook
Kathy Priest’s list of riding accomplishments includes earning
her USDF gold, silver and bronze medals. Along with being
an international competitor, her recent success on home soil
includes Open Prix St. George Champion at Regionals and
placing 3rd in the Intermedaire I Freestyle at Dressage at
Devon. Kathy takes this knowledge and applies it not only to
her showing but also to selling dressage sport horses. One
of her sales horses rode away with the 2011 Brentina Cup
Reserve Championship with assistant trainer Olivia LaGoy-
Weltz. Sidelines caught up with Kathy while she was at the
Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex in Wellington, Florida
during the winter circuit.
What do like about being in Florida for the winter?
Well of course the weather! My home base is Kentucky and
we are starting to get pretty cold there by the time we arrive
here the 1st of December. The showing and competition is
always the best. It is so nice to show and stay in your own
house and not have to pack up and drive hours. It is also a
good place for the sale horses as there are quite a few to see
if you are shopping. It is convenient to see many horses in this
small area as there is a huge concentration of horses during
the winter show season. This area is sort of the Germany or
Holland in this country during this time. I also like the proximity
to other professionals to network with, and there are plenty
of good trainers based here in the winter if you need outside
training help.
How did you get involved with horse sales?
Years ago I stood the Hanoverian stallion Bordeaux that I
also rode and competed at the international level and bred
mares to him as well. So I had offspring to sell, and what did
not sell before they were started under saddle we would bring
along, start showing and then they would sell. I have always
enjoyed that process of bringing horses along and fnding the
right match with the right buyer. Bordeaux produced some very
lovely amateur horses through the years, and that has always
been a very strong market.
How many horses do you have for sale at one time?
Sometimes I have had as many as fve to seven for sale at
one time, but ideally I like to always have three Prix St. Georges
level horses, while also having several younger ones that we
put our time in on to get ready to sell in the future. My assistant
and I are competing our own competition horses alongside
training client horses. There are only so many you can do well
in one day.
What do you like about being in the sales business?
The best thing about selling the horses is always fnding a
nice match, and getting feedback about how much they love
their new horse. I get calls and emails all the time and it always
makes it worthwhile and puts a smile on my face. I really enjoy
buying new horses, working with them, improving them, and
The Multi-Talented
Kathy Priest