Entrepreneurship Meets Equestrian Excellence

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Briar Hill Stables and Horse Jumps

BY Sarah Welk Baynum

Nestled in the slow-rolling hills of Lexington, Kentucky, is a stunning and elite equestrian facility called Briar Hill Stables. Briar Hill is situated just twenty minutes from The Kentucky Horse Park and boasts 16 paddocks, a large 120′ x 238′ arena with GGT footing, on-property living quarters, and 35 stalls spread across two barns.

Briar Hill Horse Jumps, which are made at Briar Hill Stables, is a sister business that offers exceptionally high-quality wood jumps and custom orders.

Since its recent ownership change just a few years ago, Briar Hill Stables has made some impressive changes that have since attracted well-known riders from all over the world to temporarily call it home.

From Higher Education Entrepreneurship to Equestrian Business Pursuits

Denny and Jennifer Goode, Briar Hill owners

Jennifer Goode, Briar Hill’s current owner, purchased the property in May of 2021.

“After COVID, I was feeling like I needed to live life beyond the confines of my computer screen after spending a decade in leadership and managing an entirely remote business,” says Goode.

“My husband, Denny Goode, and I started looking at horse farms in Lexington, and we just fell in love with the property on Briar Hill. It has a gorgeous arena with GGT footing right next to a lake, a dreamy courtyard, and a large stucco barn full of big stalls. We then did about $200,000 worth of renovations to the arena, stables, and living quarters on the property after we bought it. Later, we also founded Briar Hill Horse Jumps on-site as well.”

Goode grew up riding at Camargo Stables in Indian Hill, near Cincinnati, OH, and later married Denny, who raised cattle and tobacco during his own upbringing in Springfield, KY. So it’s no surprise he enjoys helping out around the farm today.

But Briar Hill was far from Goode’s first entrepreneurship venture.

“I’m an entrepreneur who has spent the last 10 years growing my businesses. My background is in higher education, and up until now, my career has been focused on helping colleges and universities grow enrollment through marketing and admissions support,” she says.

“I run a twenty-person contact center with employees in 15 states, called Enrollment Builders, a higher education lead-generation business; EDUTrust; and now the Briar Hill Stables and Briar Hill Horse Jumps as well.”

Today, Briar Hill Stables is a private facility that has attracted some of the top international Grand Prix riders and other equestrian professionals—including the 2023 Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event Winner, Tamie Smith.

“Riders will lease the farm in its entirety from April through October on a seasonal basis. During the non-peak season, we also do dry stall layovers on more of a one-to-one basis. Tamie Smith leased our facility as her home base for Land Rover Kentucky Three Day this past year. We were absolutely thrilled for her and her team when she ended up winning! This summer, we had an international Grand Prix rider from the United Kingdom and her clients as our seasonal lease for the 2023 summer season,” adds Goode.

Nurturing Excellence

“At Briar Hill Stables, we have worked to create an equestrian space and products that attract professionals competing at the highest levels. Our strive for excellence at our facility also embodies our core values of trust, open communication, and mutual respect,” says Goode.

“Our commitment to those values extends beyond providing the highest level of care for our horses. We take our client relationships seriously and strive to cultivate a community where individuals are driven to excel in their equestrian careers.”

“By fostering an atmosphere of commitment and respect, we aim to be more than just a facility—we’re a place where equestrian professionals can thrive and achieve their highest aspirations in the sport,” Goode adds.

Briar Hill Horse Jumps

Briar Hill Horse Jumps, which is run out of Briar Hill Stables, is a newly-launched business venture for Goode.

“We opened Briar Hill Horse Jumps out of what we feel is a shortage of high-quality jumps being produced in this region. We are now producing wooden horse jumps through our intricate attention to detail and using only the highest-quality materials,” says Goode.

With this attention to detail in mind, every screw hole is wood-patched, sanded, and painted using only the best wood and paint.

“The materials we use to produce these jumps are long-lasting and weather-resistant,” Goode says. “Anything that doesn’t meet the highest-quality standards are sold as second-quality to preserve the nature and reputation of our product.”

These jumps use the track system and jump cups. Each jump includes keyhole jump cups and breakaway safety cups which are USEF, USEA, and FEI approved.

In order to provide the best appearance possible, Briar Hill Horse Jumps has a complex process.

“First, we handpick all of the grade one lumber used to build the jumps. Instead of rushing the process, we allow our wood to dry for at least four weeks before starting to build with it. Once the wood is dry, our jump builders plane, cut, and assemble each jump. After assembly, all the imperfections and screw holes are filled, and then every jump undergoes thorough sanding to ensure a smooth finish,” says Goode.

“Before our painter gets to work, another quality check is completed. Then, we use two layers of exterior stain-blocking primer before they’re painted with industrial, marine-grade enamel paint. Our paint offers a superior protection against the outdoor elements as well as durability under the conditions they endure in the arena. After a week of curing time, the jumps move back to our production team where they measure and install the track system. Finally, the jumps get wrapped up and sent off.”

Delivery of their jumps is available throughout Kentucky and any of the surrounding states, as well as Florida.

The Briar Hill Stables team is also highly involved with Briar Hill Horse Jumps, with the exception of a few additional life-long equestrians.

Head jump builder Jackson Palmer is originally from the Pacific Northwest and moved to attend the University of Kentucky. He is currently a Junior in the Equine Science and Management program.

“I have been eventing for five years and have ridden through the 2* level. My other passion is construction, and I have been working with my hands for as long as I remember. I have done numerous house renovations and other outdoor projects. When I received the opportunity to build stadium jumps, it was the perfect way to combine my skills and stay focused on horses even at work,” says Palmer.

Another University of Kentucky Equine Science major, Devin Handy, helps Palmer build the Briar Hill Horse Jumps.

Prior to moving to Lexington, Handy attended high school in Maryland. “Throughout high school, I worked as a student intern at an eventing facility, soon progressing to a working student position while on a gap year. I also own and manage a business in the landscaping and film production industries to support competing horses. Throughout these roles, I have developed a fond interest in working in industrious building occupations, ultimately landing me at Briar Hill Horse Jumps. The opportunities to stay engaged in this work environment while still competing and attending school are indispensable,” says Handy.

The third member of the dedicated Briar Hill Horse Jumps team is Reese Farrell. “I have been riding and working with horses for twenty years, and professionally for 12 years in a variety of positions such as trainer, instructor, trail guide, stable hand, and assistant barn manager,” says Farrell.

“My discipline growing up was endurance, however I also dabbled in Western events like drill team and team penning. In 2023, I earned my BA in Equine Studies with a training concentration from Asbury University. I have also been painting as long as I have been riding. Ten years ago, I began as a reelance artist and worked as a house painter a year before finishing college. Now, I put those and my artistic skills to use at Briar Hill Horse Jumps.”

Briar Hill Horse Jumps prioritizes supporting the equestrian community in Kentucky. They give back to a beloved local cause—The Retired Racehorse Project. In fact, the first custom jump design done ever by Briar Hill Horse Jumps was for the RRP.

“We donated the fillers to the silent auction at RRP where they were bid on and sold. We intend on donating another jump accessory package to the RRP Silent Auction again this year. We have some other exciting custom projects being planned out as well, such as a custom saddle display made out of horse jumps for a local tack shop. Another custom project, currently in the design phase, is a life-size horse jump of our logo. We are very excited for this one since there are many complex features of a jump to this caliber. It will end up being a unique and eye-catching addition to our branding,” says Goode.

Briar Hill Horse Jumps also gives back the equestrian community in Kentucky by supporting the Kentucky Horse Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and development of the Kentucky’s equine community. They develop programs for trails, equine welfare, horse owners, youth, and legislation.

“We offer members of Kentucky Horse Council 10 percent discount, and we contribute 10 percent of the order total back to the Kentucky Horse Council,” says Goode.

To learn more about Briar Hill, visit www.facebook.com/BriarHillStablesKentucky.
For more on Briar Hill Horse Jumps, visit www.BriarHillHorseJumps.com.
Exclusive to Plaid Horse Readers, use coupon code “PlaidHorse10” for 10% off your Briar Hill Horse Jumps order.

The Heart and Soul Behind the Stables

Briar Hill Stables manager, Kaisee Winters, is “the real magic here at Briar Hill,” Goode says. “She has really brought this place to life.”

A Pennsylvania transplant, Winters relocated to Kentucky with her husband and3-year-old son. “She’s always the first one in and the last one out, and she puts so much heart and soul into horse care and creating a truly world-class facility,” says Goode. “In her time here, she has managed the renovations on the property, brought in two high-profile seasonal clients for long-term leases, and has recruited and managed an awesome team of people that align with our values.”

Winters has an extensive and life-long career in the horse industry that led her to running Briar Hill Stables to be the best it can be today. Her journey in the equine industry started at an early age with her family’s long-standing connection to the horse world.

“The spark of my passion ignited when, at the age of three, I sat on my grandmother’s retired racehorse who was affectionately known as Meatball.”

Winters was then introduced to the world of APHA show horses by her stepfather, and she competed in 4-H and local hunter/jumper shows in Pennsylvania. She later relocated to South Carolina during high school.

“My desire to work with horses led me to secure a part-time position as a barn hand at Sunnyfield Equestrian Farm. This opportunity not only allowed me to care for horses, but also paved the way for my involvement in IEA and clinics with esteemed clinicians like Barbara Filippelli, Gillian Stupples, and Liza Boyd,” says Winters.

“I would also participate on the show team while juggling my barn hand duties—you could say I was eager! Eventually, I assumed the role of barn manager while pursuing online studies in accounting at Penn State University.”

Winters later taught beginner lessons and coached students at shows as the assistant trainer back at Sunnyfield Equestrian Farm, as well as teaching hunter/jumper lessons at other facilities in South Carolina. She then became a groom and rider for Touchstone Acres, a leading Lipizzan breeder specializing in dressage before landing at Briar Hill.