References/Success Stories
I have known Jodie for more than 10 years and have been training with her since 2005.  I used to compete in local hunter shows, and she always beat everyone with her pony.  I then crossed paths with Jodie at a clinic Jodie gave in Panama City.

Jodie was only 18 years old at the time but exuded knowledge and competence.  When I purchased a new dressage horse a year later, I knew I wanted to train with Jodie.  I’ve been riding and showing for almost 40 years, and I’ve worked with many trainers.  What makes Jodie different is her commitment to her clients.  She really cares about both me and my horses.

I’m an adult amateur trying to balance both a career and riding.  Whenever I struggle with my riding Jodie’s always there to help me believe in myself.  Jodie makes me want to be a better rider, she sets a great example in the way she teaches and the way she trains.

Both as a person and an instructor Jodie is one of the most remarkable people I’ve ever known.  My husband and I have made lifelong friends through our association with Jodie and her family.


Cindy Carpenter and Utrillo
Cindy Carpenter and Raconteur
In June of 2005 I made a trip to Holland with Jodie in hopes of finding my perfect horse and we found him. We actually found him in Belgium, he is a Belgium Welsh; and he is perfect in everyway.  I had previously been training with Jodie in dressage and she is an awesome trainer.

Nelson was a young 4 year old stallion when we bought him, but we decided to train him for a show in October 2005.  He was a little green but seemed to take to shows just fine. He has shown in Regionals every year.  Jodie has done an amazing job with my horse, Vinkenhove Nelson.


Ali Howard and Vinkenhove Nelson
I met Jodie during the winter of 2003 in the gazebo at Betsy Steiner's barn, beginning what I'm sure will be a life-long friendship.  Jodie is an excellent rider, teacher and horsewoman, distinguished by her exceptional training background and true love and appreciation for each horse she is involved with.  The Kellys maintain a fantastic standard of care at Southern Cross - the horses are cared for as high-performance athletes and much-loved family members, and it shows in their good health, happy attitudes and show ring success.

I "found" my new horse, Top Secret, during a visit to Jodie's barn early in the 2007 Wellington season. I had planned to travel to Holland to horse shop with Jodie and Toine Hoefs upon the eventual retirement of my senior FEI horse, but that idea was abandoned after 10 seconds of watching Top Secret canter around the arena!  It was love at first sight, but the fact that he had been selected by Toine and ridden by Jodie for several months was a central factor in my decision to buy him.  It gave me so much peace of mind to work with Jodie and Toine - I knew that the horse was presented in a completely honest and upright manner, and that he had been very well ridden and managed while in their care.

We are now several months into our new partnership and I could not be happier with my new horse.  Top Secret's character, quality and solid training foundation make him a pleasure to ride and own, and his first U.S. show season is off to a very successful start.  I am constantly asked and always happy to answer the question, "Where did you find such a nice horse?"


Courtney Budd
I'm not sure I can fully express the positive experience we had with Jodie Kelly as trainer through the years and then agent in purchasing a horse.  We live in an area where dressage is not very strong so we traveled to see Jodie with our pony for a few years for training, after meeting Jodie at recognized shows throughout the southeast.  Before we even had a working arrangement with her, she and her mother, Laurie, were our "go to" people for correct information and guidance.  Jodie's heart was always to help my daughter and her horse achieve their potential, thus growing their skill in the sport and the sport of dressage in general.

Once my daughter out grew her pony we asked Jodie to help us find a sport horse that was appropriate for my daughter and our situation where we were isolated away from regular training.   We needed a horse that was already well trained and that a novice mother and child could handle, care for, load and take to shows on our own.  To say that she guided us to the perfect horse is an understatement.  Our beloved Jalmund was the best horse purchase we've ever made.  He was the only horse we ever purchased that didn't come with "hidden surprises".   Jodie was upfront and honest and absolutely has our best interest and his in mind as she guided us in the process.  She found a horse within our budget, that met our needs, rather than pressuring us to spend more as we had experienced in the past.

I whole heartedly encourage anyone considering using Jodie as a trainer or agent to help in the purchase of a sport horse.  She has knowledge beyond her years in dressage training as well as the care and development of sport horses.

Jodie and Derby
I first met Jodie, over the phone in 2000, looking for someone to evaluate a mare I was considering purchasing.  I had two young children at the time and didn’t want to travel unless it was worthwhile.  Several locals had given Jodie’s name, as a successful Young Rider when I asked who was knowledgeable in the Pensacola area.

After learning that particular mare was not a match for me, Jodie told me she was going to Holland.  Now aware of what I was seeking, she would try to find a horse to meet my needs.  I asked for several references and had the opportunity to meet several people who reassured me that Jodie was a professional in a ‘teen package’.  After doing my homework, I told Jodie to call me if she found a horse in which I might be interested.

A call came weeks later.  Jodie had found a special mare.  When I saw the video of Jodie riding Obi, I knew I had to have her.  p The rest, as they say, is history.  Jodie negotiated price and arranged transport of the mare helping with resources for vetting and subsequent importation.  At the time Jodie was sixteen years old.

I put Obi in training near my home in Folsom, Louisiana.  Her performances in the show ring were not what I believed they could be.  I sent Jodie a video and she agreed that Obi had much greater potential than what she was showing at the time.  At this point, I packed Obi and her gear and sent her off to Destin to be campaigned by Jodie.  In 2001, as a Young Rider, Jodie rode Obi to multiple year end awards with the USDF.  The pair received two Horse of the Year Awards including 4th at Training Level-Open and 19th at First Level-Open.  In the Breed Awards for the Dutch, they were 1st at Training Level-Open, 1st at Training Level-YR and 2nd at First Level-YR.  They also won multiple awards specifically for Young Riders.

In November of the same year, Jodie brought Obi home and rode her for the last time in our local recognized show.  There had been criticism of me for choosing to send my mare to Jodie out of state.  All the ‘nay-sayers’ were quieted that weekend as Jodie rode Obi to Champion at First Level and received the award for High Point in the show with a 79%.

Today, Obi is being ridden by my 16 year old daughter Kathryn, a former hunter rider.  After being out of work as a broodmare, Obi has gone back to work like she was never away which has certainly been a testament to the training she received from Jodie.   Together as a team for a little over a year now, Obi and Kathryn are doing well qualifying for the Region 9 Championships last year at Training where they were 8th in the GAIG Championship Class.  They have qualified at First Level for the Championships this year and are currently training Second Level.


Kat and Obi
I have been taking lessons from Jodie since November, 2008.  I had recently moved to Destin from Washington State.  I saw Jodie at a clinic 6 years ago when I lived in Florida and admired her then as a rider.  Jodie is very professional and personable.  She teaches with uplifting words of confidence so you leave feeling like you can do this thing called “Dressage”!

She has helped me so much in such a short time.  My riding and confidence has improved leaps and bounds.  I thank God everyday that I am back in sunny Florida able to take lessons from such a great teacher as Jodie.

Thank you Jodie!


Kimmie Taylor and Princess Star on Fire

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