Our first amateur spotlight of October is Leslie Hazard, and we couldn’t start this off without congratulating Leslie on her amazing showing at the GSDHJA 2017 Champ Show! This show was particularly special for Leslie, as Jasmin Stair Stables dedicated the show week to Leslie’s longtime trainer and friend, the incomparable Nancy Reed, who’s spirit was watching over Leslie and her mount, Final Edition, as they rode in her honor.
Leslie kicks ass and takes names in the hunter and eq rings – if you show in San Diego, you’ve definitely seen her killer position and smooth sailing in the ring. But that’s not the best thing about Leslie; both in and out of the ring, she’s unfailingly supportive, kind, fun, and downright hilarious. She’s the kind of adult amateur that that makes being an amateur so fun.
Let’s get down to getting to know Leslie even better….
Name: Leslie Hazard Age: 41 Location: Point Loma, CA
Years Riding? I started riding at age 3 or 4. Joan Scott, a great and funny amateur, got me up on a horse for the first time. We had horses at our house and after a near fall, my mom thought it best to take organized lessons with helmets at 5 or 6. We started at Blackland Farms with Sally Black and Katy Boswell. I later moved up height wise and rode with Nancy Reed, who was also at Blackland. I quit at some point during my junior years and after I graduated college I started riding again. Since then I have ridden fairly consistently with some breaks for having kids.
Highlight of your amateur career so far? Although physically I am rather a mess and totally out of shape, I think mentally I am better compared to when I rode as a junior and I am proud that I won the equitation challenge twice. Maybe more relaxed because it is such a fun break to ride.
Favorite horse show? The year end GSDHJA champ show for sure! I take time off of work and my husband takes care of kiddos so I can live in horse land for several days.
Favorite place to go to post ride?The Brigantine in Del Mar. they don’t care if you show up in boots and britches
Favorite hunt coat in your closet?Jasmin Stair just convinced me to buy a new one and not sure of type. I was still using ones from junior days but was told they are apparently out of style!
The best part of the amateur community? Adults definitely have more fun! I think a few times I have been lined up for a work off type of thing and the adults kind of laugh and make funny comments. Not sure if judge told us to not talk or not but it is difficult to regulate a bunch of ammies together.
One thing you hear your trainer say over and over again? My previous trainer Nancy Reed always had more confidence in me than sometimes I did. As I get older I am definitely more cautious and really don’t want to fall off, ever. Nancy would tell me to do things and I was not sure if myself or horse could do it. She would sometimes kind of growl at me but eventually I would do it. I think a great trainer will always push you safely out of your comfort zone to do better and important to understand that a great trainer would never put you in dangerous situation. Since Nancy passed, I am now riding with Jasmin Stair and I think without her pushing me I would not have gotten back on a horse..and horses are better than any drug to make you feel happy and get rid of stressors from work, life, etc.