The Hillside Center on Perry Park Owner: Lauren May Woodruff

Denver Life Magazine Executive Editor speaks to Lauren May Woodruff of The Hillside Center on Perry Park about running her successful dressage facility.

Photo by Katie Damon.

Tell us about your thriving horse business.
The Hillside Center on Perry Park is a premier dressage facility set within the scenic Plum Creek Valley specializing in world-class training, breeding, and import sales. As the owner and operator of the farm, I work daily with our trainers and staff to provide the best care and growth opportunities for our human and equine residents. We host many international-level clinicians annually as well as attend shows nationally in both dressage and in-hand competition for our training and breeding programs.”

Describe a typical day on the farm.
“As the Principal of the farm my hours have no limit nor does the job description. From operating heavy machinery and caring for day-old foals or acute injury response and rehab to procuring semi-loads of consumables and materials management, each piece of commercial farm management is part of daily life. The running joke among barn owners is that they do not own the farm, the farm owns them. Many days that feels true but living and working within my passion in a space that I created is always a thing of gratitude.”

How did you get into this particular business?
“A life-long equestrian, our family began the search for a small horse property with four stalls in 2014. What materialized after much searching was a 50-acre, 21 stall commercial horse farm that far outsized our then herd but we could not resist! That single jump into the property set off an eight-year adventure in horsemanship, leadership, business development, and living out my truest passion in service of the dressage community here in Colorado, nationally and ultimately working with Olympic-level clinicians and breeders worldwide.”

What is Hillside’s mission?
“Hillside is a focused dressage training barn that is passionate about the development and welfare of sport horses and their owners. Our mission is making high-level dressage education both accessible and friendly within a supportive community.”

Photo by Katie Damon.

What are you passionate about?
“My passion in life is growing ideas and living as an example for other women that a life of entrepreneurial endeavor is both possible and rewarding. I have three beautiful daughters and I am proud to raise them in a home where they witness the grit and determination it takes to start businesses and develop lasting brand presence.”

What have you learned about yourself from starting your own business?
“The Hillside Center has become a vehicle to realizing how incredibly capable and resourceful I am as a creator and that in itself is my proudest moment. I feel pride in being looked to as an open and friendly resource who invests in the supporting the success of other barn owners. That said, I’ve have had many wonderful moments on the farm from hosting Olympic athletes and bringing the first KWPN (Royal Dutch Sport Horse) inspection in over 25 years in Colorado to being the setting of fashion and film campaigns, to major successes in the show ring nationally.”