Woman Around The World - Vicki Humphrey

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WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD Vick i Humphrey CANTON, GEORGIA with Jeff Wallace


hat does your dream horse look like? As my eye as a horsewoman has matured, my dream horse has evolved. My first dream horse was most importantly high headed, very forward and had to be waving its legs. While all those things are still important, the word that moves to the top of the list is balance. My dream horse is proportioned to be compact, hip dropping as the front end comes up with equal motion front and back. He must exude quality and must work fluidly with expression and ambition that comes from heart and is not manmade. If you could resurrect any 2 horses, whom would they be and why? For breeding purposes, I would definitely resurrect Bask. He has contributed to the breed greatly, but it would be interesting to breed him to the mares that are available now. For riding, I would resurrect FF Summer Storm, a Bask daughter, and one of the most fun rides I’ve ever had. Who was the first Arabian horse you laid eyes on and what was the experience like? I was in school learning to ride jumpers, and an Arabian mare named Raitez threw me off into a four foot oxer three times in a row onto my back. How has the Arabian horse enriched your life? We get involved with the Arabian horse because of our attraction to their character and beauty. However, through our travels in the industry, we meet so many interesting people, here and abroad. We, as trainers, impact the lives and futures of the children we teach; we add joy to the lives of many owners and, as a result, our lives are enriched by the people we meet even more so than the horses.

You have had great success with your amateur and junior riders. What do you feel makes a great amateur and junior rider trainer? A trainer of children has a responsibility to teach not only the skills of horsemanship, but more importantly, the following: 1. Confidence 2. Self Esteem 3. Perseverance 4. Determination 5. Dedication and Work Ethic 6. Sportsmanship These are key elements for success in life—not just in the show ring and as a trainer—no riding skill can be taught that ranks above these.

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Vicki Humphrey and Hucks Connection V. 132 | A R A BI A N HOR SE T I MES


When you create the perfect day for yourself, please take us through it. Riding through the Masai Mara with giraffe and zebras on either side, a glass of wine by the fire listening to the lions roar at night, eating under the stars by lantern light and sharing stories of the day’s adventures with friends. What is your favorite destination to travel to? I have spent the last 15 years traveling a great deal in Africa and South Africa. Arabian horses took me on my first trip to South Africa to judge. The friendships I have made there have taken me back many times since. What 2 characteristics do you love most about the Arabian horse? Their spirit and heart. What is your favorite part of your career? The most satisfying part of my career is watching students apply what they have learned in the show ring to their lives and careers. I am so proud of the students that I have taught and their many successes. What draws you to the English horse more than any other discipline? English is the epitome of athleticism


Vicki Humphrey with daughter Jessica Clinton DeSoto.


combined with high energy and attitude. While I enjoy all disciplines for their individual strengths, the English horse feels less restrained and more free to exhibit their talent as compared to the more controlled disciplined rides of a show hack or western horse. And while I love the discipline and methodical training required of these more technical divisions, the most pleasure I get is riding “by the seat of my pants” on a wide open English horse doing a big trot. How does the term longevity apply to your life with Arabian horses? I had intended to retire at 40. Then my oldest daughter, Lea, turned 10 and was ready to show. Three years later, Jessica was starting her riding career and that was 20 years ago! Thank goodness Arabian horses keep you active and healthy.

Vicki Humphrey and Multi-National Champion Revelation JF.

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When I say the name of these 6 horses, tell me what instantly comes to your mind: Fire Music+++ Featurette FF Summer Storm Countess Vanessa Huckleberry Bey Gai Argosy If you could combine the traits of these six horses into one horse, it would be the dream horse every breeder strives for—Fire Music’s extreme beauty, Featurette’s ambition, Summer Storm’s perfect balance, Countess Vanessa’s extreme motion, HBB’s kind disposition with Gai Argosy’s trainability (national champion open at three years old!). Vicki Humphrey

The most satisfying part of my career is watching students apply what they have learned in the show ring to their lives and careers. I am so proud of the students that I have taught and their many successes.

Above: Vicki Humphrey with Leah, Andy Deering, and granddaughter Lizzy. Right: Vicki with daughter Jessica Clinton DeSoto.


As a successful English trainer, do you also love to watch important halter championships, and who are 2 of your favorite halter horses of all time? Yes. Two mares that I was lucky enough to judge and loved were Tulle El Jamaal and Bey Teyna. Unquestionably, the most correct, balanced and beautiful stallion I ever judged is Magnum Psyche. ■


Top: Vicki Humphrey with Diane and Ava Lapham.

Above: SF Aftershoc and Vicki Humphrey.

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