Rolling Acres Show Stables Spotlight Series: Mary Lisa Leffler

Good morning all! Since we won’t have horse show results to share for a while, we thought we might do a weekly spotlight series of our staff so everyone can get to know Team RASS! Up next is Mary Lisa Leffler!

Mary Lisa riding in the Inaugural parade
for President Jimmy Carter

As the youngest daughter of Bud and Janice Nicholson, it was in the cards for Mary Lisa to be a rider.  She started riding at the young age of four. As a young rider Mary rode both English and Sidesaddle. Her competition career started in the Leadline division and has taken her all the way to the International Jumper ring.

Mary has pages full of championship honors from shows up and down the east coast, as far west as the Mississippi and across the Pond to represent the United States in Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. If you ask her what her greatest accomplishment is as a rider she will tell you it’s retiring two major trophies at Devon and Harrisburg. (And in case you didn’t know, you have to be champion for 3 years to retire a trophy!!) She will also tell you that ‘Graf Rossini S’ has been her favorite jumper and ‘Legend Has It’ her favorite hunter to ride—although it took her a long time to decide because she has had so many horses she has loved.

Mary Lisa on Graf Rossini S
Mary Lisa on Legend Has It

In 1994 Mary Lisa decided to join her sister Patty in running Rolling Acres Show Stables as the professional rider and additional trainer.  To date, coaching Patty’s daughter, Ashley Foster, to the A/O Jumper Championship and Leading A/O Jumper Rider at Harrisburg has been her biggest highlight as a trainer.  In 2009, Mary also added to her resume by becoming a USEF ‘R’ HU/HE judge.

Mary Lisa on I Dottori VD Richter

Each year Mary looks forward to competing the most at the Lexington Spring Shows and she loves judging at Devon.  She also loves judging the Green 3′ division because it shows the young, up-and-coming horses.  This year Mary is looking forward to getting her newest horse, ‘I Dottori VD Richter (Doc)’, to the Grand Prix ring.

A couple of quick facts about Mary you might not know:

  • Her favorite non-horse related activity is going to the beach.
  • Her favorite food is pasta. 
  • Her favorite song is ‘The Dock of the Bay’ 🎵
  • Her pet peeve is not finishing what you start and making excuses for not trying!

Thank you Mary for all you have done over the years for Rolling Acres Show Stables!