Leslie Law is a living eventing legend.
With hundreds of victories to his name, including a 2004 Olympic individual gold medal, the 55-year-old British star knows exactly what it takes to succeed. And now, as the USEF Emerging Athlete Coach, Leslie is using his expertise to shape America’s next generation of eventing riders.
A Promising Outlook for U.S. Eventing
In his official capacity, Leslie helps U.S. riders learn every facet of the sport, from exercising their horses to building a profitable equine business. He mentors and teaches Under-25 and Developing Riders, ensuring that America’s young talent has all the resources necessary to thrive on the international stage.
Leslie and his wife, Canadian event rider Lesley Law — yes, you read that right — also run Law Eventing in Ocala, Fla., a world-class organization focused on developing both young horses and young athletes.
The Laws have a simple training philosophy: Trust the process. Their daily mission is to help those they work with — both horses and riders — reach their full potential.
The young riders Leslie trains get him excited about the future of the sport. The ultimate goal, he says, is to one day pass them over to Erik Duvander, Performance Director of U.S. Eventing, and see them land on a podium.
“I think, as a sport, we’re very lucky that the USEF is able to offer this program to riders,” Leslie says. “What these riders get from the program — not just in myself but in other opportunities they are given — is a very big leg up for them.”
He adds: “I have a handful of incredibly talented up-and-coming riders who have very good support systems and very strong resources around them. I think they have the temperaments and drive to use those resources to their best potential and come through for America down the road.”
A Family Business
When they met at Rolex Kentucky in 2005, Leslie and Lesley made an instant connection — not only their shared love of horses but also their shared drive for perfection, marked by integrity at every step.
“We both strive to perform to our best, whether that be as parents, riders or coaches,” says Leslie. “And we try to instill that in our working students, our staff and our clients. While we may all be limited by factors outside our control, we can always strive to be whatever the best is for us individually — and that is what we try to execute and impart.”
As parents to 10-year-old Liam, the Laws have a packed schedule balancing their professional commitments with Liam’s soccer games. Any extra effort it takes, Leslie says, is well worth it.
“I am a fairly avid soccer dad. I’ll put off just about everything to be there with him,” Leslie says. “I absolutely adore being his father and never knew before him how much I was missing. He brings me immense joy, and I feel very lucky that I can travel to events and have my family with me more often than not.”
‘A Very Good Sport, a Very Difficult Business’
For Leslie and Lesley, both of their careers are flourishing, but they’ve dealt with the ups and downs of the sport.
“I have always said eventing is a very good sport and a very difficult business,” Leslie explains. “We both came to this country with very little and had to somehow make a whole world appear — make horses appear, buy a farm, build a house, pay for vast amounts of insurance a month, build a clientele. The list goes on and on. Once you get some of that together, the trick is being able to make it stick.”
The Laws are eager to impart their hard-won wisdom to the young riders they work with. After using a variety of technology tools to stay connected to their trainees during the pandemic, they’re looking forward to a lineup of in-person events — and, of course, to seeing those riders bring home medals in years to come.
“We are both enjoying competing at all levels and having students that are very serious in the sport,” says Leslie. “I feel very honored to [be the Emerging Athlete Coach], and I really hope I make a positive impact. I am very excited about the future of the sport in America.”