Nikki Rae Woodworth, a long-time Morgan exhibitor, trainer and riding instructor, has announced the opening of her public training stable, MonteRae, just outside the historic town of Ashby, Massachusetts.
The 38-stall barn is located on 250 acres, including a building that features a very large indoor arena and round pen, as well as an office and lounge. Once Nikki and her more than 20 training horses are settled into the new location, she hopes to hire a full-time riding instructor and offer outside lessons.
Nikki grew up riding with and working alongside her mother, Jean DeGutis, through high school, and later at Mike Carpenter Stables in Sutton, Mass. For the past 10 years, she has trained and showed horses out of Maggie Hood’s Kelley Green Acres (KGA) in Mendon, Mass. Maggie is closing the doors on her farm so she can spend more time with her daughters and their families, but also plans to place a show horse in training with Nikki and enjoy the sport once again as an owner, breeder and exhibitor.
Personally, Nikki achieved much success riding in the Saddle Seat Equitation division. In 1996, she won the American Morgan Horse Association Saddle Seat Gold Medal Finals and the World Senior Saddle Seat Equitation Championship. The following year, she captured the Triple Crown in Morgan Saddle Seat Equitation by winning the United Professional Horsemen's Association Senior Morgan Challenge Cup Finals. Nikki’s wins in the junior and walk-trot divisions is a formidable list. She has continued that success with her ability to coach Rachel Menard to the 2009 AMHA Saddle Seat Gold Medal Finals Championship and the UPHA Morgan Senior Challenge Cup Finals Championship. She coached Lauren White to the 2013 World Saddle Seat Classic Equitation Championship.
As a trainer, Nikki won the 2015 and 2016 World Open Park Saddle Championship riding As Predicted, and when she won the 2011 World Open Park Harness Championship driving SpringMill Superstition, she became the youngest trainer to win this title, and the third woman to accomplish this in the history of the Morgan Grand National. Nikki won the World Open Park Harness Championship a second time when she drove LC Amazing Spiderman into the winner’s circle in 2017.
Nikki also has had success coaching junior exhibitors and amateurs to national titles, including Kayla McGovern, Daisy Beisler, Cheryl and Victoria Ricci, Kristin Hilf, and Debbi Hamilton.
Training horses is in Nikki’s blood and genes. “My whole life has been around horses,” she said. “Not many people can combine their passion and a hobby and turn it into a career. “It’s a win
-win situation,” Nikki said. “I can’t imagine a day when I won’t be training or showing horses.”