Ask the Judge: Rachel Kennedy

Photo by Elizabeth Lang

By Catie Staszak

“R” judge Rachel Kennedy is making the judge’s booth more accessible.

Kennedy, who runs her ESP Farm operation out of Brookeville, MD and Wellington, FL, was on the judging panel at the 2022 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships and will be one of the judges of the 2023 ASPCA Maclay National Championship.

Kennedy has offered a forum on ESP Farm’s social media accounts and will periodically be answering user-submitted questions about judging.

To submit a question, leave a comment on ESP Farm’s Facebook or Instagram posts or send ESP Farm a direct message.

Rachel Kennedy has served as a USEF Licensed Hunter and Equitation Judge since 1995, and she continues to judge regularly at the nation’s most premier competitions, including the Winter Equestrian Festival, Kentucky Horse Shows, the Hampton Classic and the Menlo Charity Horse Show, among many others. 

​Highly sought after for championships, Kennedy has officiated everywhere from the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, USEF Medal Final, USEF Junior Hunter National Championships, USHJA Hunterdon Cup and NHS 3’3″ Equitation Championship (twice) to USEF Pony Finals, the USEF Pony Medal Final and the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Hunt Seat National Finals.

In addition to judging, Rachel has served on the Board of Directors of the MHSA and PHSA as well as on the USHJA Zone III Jumper Committee. She started ESP Farm in 1995, training and showing numerous horses to championships on the USEF “AA” Circuit at shows such as Capital Challenge, Devon, Ocala, Washington International, Upperville, Vermont Summer Festival, and Fairfield. She notably trained Rocky W and Kaitlin Campbell to the win in the $75,000 Upperville Classic, as well as the Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship at the Devon Horse Show. She also trained Jacob Pope to a team gold medal at the 2015 North American Young Rider Championships.    

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