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  • Lorna Hamilton

Young Local Rider Gets Chance Of A Lifetime


Ainsley Lehne showing 1.0 M. Photo submitted

Local rider Ainsley Lehne, (also known as Dolly) can’t remember never being on a horse, and she has been graced with a chance of a lifetime. Lehne applied to participate in the Lucy Olphert Show Jumping and Global Amateur Tour for 2023 and 2024 and was the successful applicant, out of all the worldwide riders.

“The program is on an invitation-only basis where each rider must apply to attend each country on tour. The Lucy Olphert Show Jumping has offered one young rider a package that includes coaching, nutrition, mental preparation for competition, and the opportunity to attend all the tours to compete for my home country, Canada. I have been chosen out of all her global applications, and I am humbled and honoured to receive this opportunity!” stated Lehne.

Lehne said that with this opportunity, she was awarded the opportunity to train with riding coach Lucy Olphert from New Zealand, and on the Global Amateur Tour side of the program, she has been awarded a seat to travel to France in July to train and show horses while also having the opportunity to travel to numerous other places to show and represent Canada.

“The sponsorship is so much more than getting on a horse and riding it, I am accountable for my behavior at the barn, at shows, and online. Lucy has worked with me on things like my brand awareness, short/long-term goals, show prep, and of course, my riding skills. I meet with Lucy for a FaceTime check-in every couple of weeks, and a virtual riding lesson once a month,” explained Lehne.

Lehne explains that the travel portion will bring her a high-pressure experience, which she describes as “singing solo at a Garth Brooks concert,” and that she will be gaining valuable experience navigating the world of showing internationally.

This program doesn’t only provide Lehne an opportunity to experience participating on the worldwide stage it also provides her the much-needed knowledge to further her future goals to show and coach.

“This is something not many riders have on their resume, and something that will put me above the competition should I choose to seek employment at a show barn in the future,” said Lehne.

“I would love to show and coach out of our farm here in Vermilion, and all of these experiences will set me up for the future. When I graduate, I’m hoping to travel to New Zealand and shadow Lucy in her coaching business,” explained Lehne. Lehne also mentioned that through Pony Club she is only two tests away from being able to challenge the Equine Canada coaching exam and that she is also one of the youth reps for the Alberta North Region of the Canadian Pony Club.

It is also very important to Lehne that she acknowledges the people that have partnered with her as the financial responsibilities to participate in the program fall on her and her family.

“Their support and investment in youth is what makes our community vibrant, and a place I’m proud to call home. Being a positive role model is very important to me, and because of this I created Love, Dolls Equestrian Society. For more information about Dolly and this important program she has been accepted to participate in, you can check out her website at www.ainsleylynn.com

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