A sad day today! I went to the funeral of a friend, Leesa (Miles-)Robinson, who succumbed to cancer last Tuesday.
Leesa was a stalwart of Ryan's Equestrian Centre for many years. She had grown up at Anna Bay and both she and sister Jane learnt to ride as schoolgirls with Heath at his NSW Equestrian Centre at Lochinvar. Leesa was training and winning at Grand Prix level dressage before she finished school. She went on to work for Heath and Rozzie for some 27 years!
I first met Leesa when I trained at Lochinvar in 1997. By that time, she was a senior rider and coach. A dedicated, passionate rider, she enthused all she came into contact with. She rode Heath's Richmeed Medallion, dressage and eventing,and it was she who introduced me to the beautiful black stallion who has since sired two of my horses (Mai Ssandro and Maybellene}. She gave me dressage lessons as I worked towards my Level 1 coaching accreditation. She loved my palomino Top Cat's attitude and topped him up to have his first eventing start at Lochinvar 3DE.
Heath delivered a heartfelt eulogy, giving her credit for developing Medallion and Greenoaks Dundee to international level, to be on the reserve list for both Athens and the Beijing Olympics. He also introduced Leesa to the Thai team and worked with her to develop the Thailand team to win their first Asian games medals in equestrian sport.
Leesa lived her passions and shared her triumphs and despairs. She was a memorable character; her memory will remain with many who were inspired by her sucesses, teaching and sheer love of life.
Just 43 years old, her husband Grant admires her indomitable positive energy. He had supported her passion with the gift of a young horse, Jericho , which Lisa has developed to Prix St George level. A younger horse, Revelry, is yet to be broken-in.
Her smile and laugh and her generosity of spirit will remain etched in my memory! Hundreds (perhaps thousands)of others will share my memories as her influence spread far.