Leslie Morse, World Games Bronze Medalist for USA, Retires from Competition to Focus on Developing Sport

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Leslie Morse, 2006 World Equestrian Games bronze medalist. File photo. © Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

May 9, 2022

Leslie Morse, United States team bronze medalist with Tip Top at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, on Monday announced her retirement from dressage competition to focus on developing sport.

Leslie competed in four World Cup Finals, on Kingston in 2004 and 2005 and on Tip Top in 2006 and 2007. She was U.S. Grand Prix champion twice, on Kingston in 2003 and Tip Top in 2009.

In addition to her competition career, she developed a successful breeding program in California, with Kingston and Tip Top as sires.

Leslie Morse riding Tip Top at Hickstead, England. Renowned coach and competitor Kyra Kyrklund (seen right) sold Tip Top to Leslie and was her long time mentor. File photo. © Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com

Leslie, 60 years old, said of her new career path: “I feel that there are some unintentional gaps in the US team’s development programs and USEF and the sport have given me so much, it’s time for me to give back. I find horses and riders that have potential do not all fit into the timeline restrictions, and this has led to many young riders and horses, to either not get support, or bypass needed periods of training to learn a system and process.

“I want to share what I’ve learned through the years. I love teaching horsemanship and the art of feel to riders. I feel it is a critical time in US dressage, and the next generation of riders need good training and support–that is accessible–for pairs at every stage of development. They need mentorship and guidance to learn how to develop their own horses and maintain a career at the international level.”