Dressage rider and trainer Lynn Leath died April 30, 2023 doing what she loved - teaching at her arena in Chapel Hill, NC. Lynn was an accomplished equestrienne of over 40 years. Since 1983, Lynn has been the owner and trainer of North Star Training Center, training horses and riders to Grand Prix dressage. Lynn is survived by her loving husband, Clifford Leath, her stepdaughter Brenna and son-in-law Shawn, and her granddaughter, Vaughn.
Born in a suburb of New York City, Lynn embarked on her journey with horses at 25 years old in Pennsylvania, when she met her mentor and dear friend, three-time Olympian Jessica Ransehousen, and bonded with her longtime best friend, Sharon Best. The horse lifestyle was earned, not given, to Lynn - with years of hard work, tenacity, and dedication, she won USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals on a mare that she bred, broke, and trained to Grand Prix herself. Learned from another of her mentors, Cathy Morelli, Lynn’s philosophy was “there are no shortcuts - the work must be built upon correct fundamentals, regardless of the level,” and Lynn practiced what she preached! Most recently, Lynn proudly took D’Artagnan to Grand Prix Horse of the Year in North Carolina, and the following year, to Grand Prix Musical Freestyle Horse of the Year - fourth in the country.
Lynn was a fiercely loyal friend and dedicated teacher, passionate about precision and creating healthy relationships between horse and rider. She was extremely proud of her students, many of whom she coached to national titles and their own USDF medals. Her focus and determination were unparalleled, inspiring those around her and earning the respect and admiration of her peers.
Lynn loved relaxing seaside vacations with her husband, the operatic Italian pop trio Il Volo, her horses, D’Artagnan and Casper, and her Jack Russell terriers, Blarney and DuBarry. Her friends will miss her famous holiday rum cakes, cheesecakes, and thoughtful gestures for those she cared about most.
In lieu of flowers, Lynn’s family asks her friends and family to consider donating in her name to Corral http://corralriding.org/give/, providing at-risk girls and rescue horses with the opportunity for equine therapy, or Equestrian Aid http://www.equestrianaidfoundation.org/donate, providing emergency financial grants to members of the equestrian community throughout the United States who are struggling to overcome catastrophic illness, injury, or other unforeseen crises.
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