About

 

Kendal Lehari

Drive. Tenacity. Passion.

What does it take to make it to the top level of the most challenging equestrian sport?

Talent, of course. But as Kendal Lehari has proven, drive, tenacity and a passion for horses that was ignited before she was born are the ingredients that make a Champion. These are also the attributes that make Kendal a role model for the young athletes who look up to her as a coach and mentor.

Kendal Lehari competes in Three Day Eventing (Eventing), an equestrian sport with roots in military training that was designed to test the attributes of horse and horse person most important for elite cavalry. Akin to a triathlon on horseback, Eventing tests obedience, bravery and athletic ability in each of the phases of competition. It is a sport that requires tremendous skill and overall horsemanship and uniquely amongst Olympic sports, men and women compete as equals in both team and individual competition. After competing in her first Eventing competitions at the age of 11, Kendal was hooked. Through triumph and tribulation, her love of the horses, commitment to the sport and drive to compete for Team Canada has never wavered.

Kendal’s journey to the top began before she was born with parents who are both enthusiastic equestrians. Kendal grew up watching and learning from her mother Gwen, a successful Eventer in her own right, who specialized in training young horses and working with Thoroughbreds during and after their racing careers, long before it became en vogue. This laid the foundation for a key piece of Kendal’s competitive success; her ability to spot talent in young horses and cultivate it from their early years, building trust and ensuring that their partnerships can take on the most challenging competitions.

Kendal is uniquely talented in identifying young stock who have the ability and temperament to make top Event horses. From picking unbroken three-year-olds, to helping racehorses into second careers and retraining horses who have been ill-suited at other disciplines, this doesn’t only benefit her own program.

Horses trained by Kendal have found great competitive success with junior and amateur riders, a testament to both her ability to spot raw talent and the quality of her training program. This skill set was cultivated in her youth. Kendal made it to the top level of the sport on two horses that she brought along as a teenager.

Kendal Lehari walking horse

Both former racehorses, Understudy and Daily Edition put Kendal’s career on the map early.

With Understudy, Kendal earned both team and individual gold medals at the North American Young Rider Championships. Their individual victory was achieved by an unprecedented 20-point margin.

With Daily Edition, Kendal made it to the pinnacle of the sport and finished in the top 20 at the prestigious Kentucky CCI*****, one of only 7 five-star competitions in the world. Kendal has proven that she is far from a one-shot wonder, bringing 13 horses along from unbroken or unproven to international level competition. She has been listed as a member of the Canadian Team.

While her journey has been exciting and filled with great competitive highs, it has not been without adversity. Daily Edition suffered numerous setbacks in his road to the top and in 2014, her exciting up and coming mount Totally Frank suffered an injury while competing that would prove to end his career in the sport. While Kendal was able to rehabilitate him to find success in pure Show Jumping, the risk of re-injury due to the physical strain of Eventing was not one she was willing to take. The challenge of having all hopes pinned to one horse strengthened Kendal’s resolve to grow her own competitive string from the ground up and most recently, she has turned her skills to breeding her next partners. With three young horses already bred out of one of her retired upper-level mounts, Kendal looks to ensure she is able to write her own path by breeding or selecting young horses and adding value through her proven training program.

Today, Kendal finds herself on the cusp of being a regular member of the Canadian National Team. Her top horses Mitchell, a retired racehorse she purchased as a three-year-old. Mitchell is now nine-years-old and has competed up to the CCI**** level (in Belgium!) Audacious is Kendal’s other top mount, who was also purchased as a three-year-old after his breeder sent him into Kendal’s barn for early training. Spotting his talent immediately, this precocious gelding has made it to the Advanced level of Eventing as a nine-year-old, and when he isn’t jumping out of his paddock for fun, he is also racking up wins in pure Show Jumping having competed up to 1.40m and in numerous Open Welcomes and Modified Grand Prix’s. Kendal has two other mounts competing at the upper levels of Eventing, and three young horses with whom she is laying a foundation for future success.

Kendal’s drive, love for her horses and grit are attributes that make her an incredible role model and mentor. As a previous board member for the Ontario Eventing Association, she Chaired Coaching and was Co-Chair of the Under-25 Program. She still remains active with the board, volunteering on the Committees. 2024 will mark her fourth time as the Chef D’Equipe for Ontario at the North American Youth Championships, Kendal ensures that her skill and experience benefits the sport and particularly, young equestrians.

Join Kendal’s Journey today, with near-term stops targeting the 2026 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, 2027 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru and 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, USA.

You can be assured a ride that brings wonderful competitive highs, and perhaps more importantly, one that will exemplify the human characteristics we all wish to foster in the next generation.