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Leaving a Legacy

December 17th, 2014

Whispering Hope Stables is a horse boarding facility nestled just 10 minutes from downtown Raleigh and we focus on horse care and developing a community of people where joy, kindness, and understanding prevail. A member and friend of Whispering Hope Stables, Judy Humphries was informed of shocking news that would cause most people to lose hope and stop living life.

“Ovarian cancer,” said the doctor. It was December 24th, 2008.

That evening after hearing the news, Judy sat quietly contemplating what she really wanted to do before she left this earth. Jon Gordon, an American author and consultant, once stated, “Every one of us is going to leave a legacy. It just depends on what kind.” This was the exact question she was facing.

She did not have an answer yet about whether she would fight the cancer, and she wanted to focus on the things left for her to accomplish in life. Was there anything left she wanted to accomplish? At that moment, she decided she wanted to get back into horses.

Judy had ridden horses when she was a child, but the riding had been more about the technique and training. She had not really focused on building a relationship with the horse, and she had never had that special bond. She so desired that special relationship.

After the diagnosis, Judy chose to not focus too much on the cancer but on horses!


And so her journey began with leasing a horse. She quickly got into the groove of grooming and riding again and soon she was longing for a horse of her own. A good friend found a mare that she believed could be a partner and companion along this journey with Judy.

The mare was named Peppy Cayenne and she had her own baggage. She was skittish and little leery of people. This mare needed love and attention, and someone to teach her to trust again.  Judy decided to open her heart and family and made Peppy a part of her journey!

Peppy was a turning point for Judy. Judy spent the next year establishing a trusting relationship with Peppy, and getting her healthy and happy. Peppy started to come to life and bring such joy to Judy. Through the cancer treatments, Peppy also provided a distraction and a reason to get up and go every week.

In 2013, Judy realized she wanted more from this experience of getting back into horses. Together, Judy and her husband, Wofford, decided to breed Peppy.

Peppy is a full bred Quarter Horse, and Judy decided to work with the Quarter Horse Foundation and find a stallion that would help continue the true breeding lines for Quarter Horses. Her goal and journey of getting back into horses was becoming a legacy. She was deciding to give back to the breed that gave so much to her.

The 11-month pregnancy brought Judy and Peppy infinitely closer. Judy was there for every ultrasound and injection, and she regularly massaged and hosed Peppy’s legs when she would stock up. When Peppy delivered, the baby came quickly and easily, and Judy was actually able to be in the stall immediately after the delivery.

Unlike most horses, Peppy did not mind that Judy was in the stall at all. She was not protective or aggressive toward Judy in the least bit. She trusted Judy explicitly with her new foul. With tears in her eyes, Judy shared, “It is a special place of bonding. It is a privilege to share that moment with the mom.”


Upon his arrival, the black foul was named, “Legacy”. His name had a two-fold meaning, because this was a legacy for both Peppy and herself. Legacy has become one of the most meaningful and rewarding accomplishments in Judy’s life. Judy and Peppy’s story is an inspiration to many at Whispering Hope Stables.

As we approach the end of 2014 and as you live out life, what is the legacy that you wish to leave? Will you chose to leave a legacy of hope and life?

This upcoming year in 2015, I challenge you to make every effort to do the thing you really want in life. Leave your legacy!

Judy Humphries is one of our faithful members at Whispering Hope Stables. She expresses a sincere love for people and her horses in everything that she does at the stables. She is still fighting cancer to this day. Every day, she chooses to bring warmth and joy to people’s hearts by creating a positive and loving environment around her.


Written by: Madeline Gioja

Office Manager, Whispering Hope Stables