The Winning Edge Adds Guest Professionals to Judging Roster

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2019 – The Winning Edge is thrilled to announce its partnership with three notable equestrian professionals to judge alongside founder Susie Humes. As a highly-respected trainer and U.S. Equestrian (USEF) “R” rated judge, Humes founded The Winning Edge, an educational platform, to help riders around the country improve their riding and technique both at home and at horse shows. Humes welcomes colleagues Ken Smith, Karen Healey and Kathy Newman to the judging roster to assist her in providing exclusive evaluations and training tips for The Winning Edge’s customers.

“The guest professionals we are featuring on our site are longtime colleagues of mine and I have judged with them throughout my career,” Humes explained. “Right now we have two that are in Wellington [Florida], Ken Smith and Kathy Newman, and one based in California, Karen Healey, with many exciting professionals hopping on board in the future. I have great respect for all of them and each one is an expert in their field. For each video we receive, all of us will watch the round and write our critiques and tips. I read what my guest professionals write and we talk it over. I think it’s crucial to have different points of judging and training views for our customers.”

Smith owns and operates the highly-successful Ashland Farms alongside his wife Emily Smith, which is based in Wellington, Florida and Lexington, Kentucky. Since developing their business in 1992, the Smiths have trained countless national champions at major horse shows throughout the country including the Devon Horse Show, the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show and the National Horse Show. Under their tutelage, students have achieved multiple top-ten finishes at all three major equitation finals, as well as gold and silver medals in the prestigious FEI North American Young Rider Championships. In addition, Smith has judged at many of the finest horse shows in the nation, such as the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), New England Medal Finals, the Northeast Maclay Regional Championship and the USEF Junior Hunter National Championship.

“Susie and I have known each other since 2003, and she has been instrumental in the growth of our business,” Smith explained. “She’s been a real part of our success. We really see eye-to-eye on horses, and when we judge together we mesh well together and have similar opinions. I am looking forward to playing a role in supporting her with her new endeavor, The Winning Edge.”

Newman is the owner and operator of the successful Allwyn Court Farm alongside her husband Gerry and daughter Katherine. She is also a USEF-recognized judge with an “R” in hunter breeding. Newman’s eye for detail while coaching has resulted in many riders finishing in the winner’s circle in the junior and professional ranks. Throughout her notable riding and training career, Newman’s horses have secured multiple Horse of the Year (HOTY) awards, circuit championships at WEF and ribbons in international hunter derbies. Newman is also a valued team member of the USEF International Derby Committee and sits on a plethora of United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) committees.

“I was inspired to work with Susie on this project because she is one of the best, and she has produced top horses throughout our many years of knowing each other,” Newman said. “She has a wonderful eye for all of the horses she develops and her training is impeccable. That’s the reason that year after year she produces so many winners. It’s really fun for me to have the opportunity to work with somebody who is this well-educated in the horse business.”

The third guest professional to join the team at The Winning Edge is Healy and she started off in the equestrian industry by gaining knowledge as she worked for George Morris at his Hunterdon operation from 1971-1974. She moved to California in 1981 to establish her own business based at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. Throughout her illustrated career, Healy taught riders such as Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and 1998 AHSA Junior Horseman of the Year, Jill Prieto. Currently based out of Whitethorne Stables, Healy’s riders continue to achieve success in all three rings at shows throughout the country. Her past students have won over 100 medal finals and horses and riders in her program have earned countless hunter and jumper championship titles at indoors. Her students have also amassed many medals at the NAYRC and the Prix de States.

Healey said, “Susie is an excellent judge, trainer, and horsewoman. I have had the pleasure of working with her over the years and I have witnessed her great eye for detail and the wealth of knowledge she has about the sport. I’m really excited to be a part of The Winning Edge!”

Humes is proud of the panel of professionals that she has curated, all of whom also boast a wealth of knowledge and experience in the hunter, jumper and equitation spheres. Upon submitting riding videos, conformation photographs or questions to The Winning Edge’s knowledgeable judges, riders will receive a detailed evaluation with helpful tips and suggestions to help them stand out in the show ring. For more information about The Winning Edge or to submit a video for evaluation, visit


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