Oct. 22, 2013
By Grace Bolin
Crazy, quirky, one of a kind… these are just a few words used by teammates to describe Auburn Equestrian rider Katsy Leeman. Katsy is a junior western rider for the Tigers, and contributes to the team greatly. However, coming to Auburn was not always the plan for this Ohio native.
“I didn’t know about Auburn until my junior year of high school, and I only came on a visit with my friend to be nice, but I ended up falling in love with it. It is so much like home,” said Leeman. “I never thought I would end up here, but it turned out being a great thing for me.”
For her, riding began at a very young age. Horses have always been part of her life mostly in part to her family raising horses.
“My family raises horses, so I remember riding them before I could even walk. I used to climb over the fences and jump on the horses and my mom would freak out because she wouldn’t be able to find me. I would spend hours a day outside playing with the horses.”
Leeman has inherited the love for horses not only in riding, but also in rescuing. She has adopted three mustangs and has provided them with a loving home. Raising and caring for Sophie, Velma, and Daphne is something Leeman has become very passionate about.
“They are tons of fun, it’s my little herd. They turn out to be your best friend and it’s such a good thing to do.”
It’s not only her kind-heartedness and affection towards animals that makes Leeman stand out. She is known by her teammates to be crazy and adventurous. She is fearless on a horse and likes to ride fast. Being described as quirky did not come as a surprise to Leeman.
“I think I bring a lot of life to the team, sometimes a little too much and I have to tone it down a little bit,” said Leeman. “But everyone out here has great personalities and I love it out here.”
Leeman has started off the 2013-2014 equestrian season with a bang. In the first meet against Fresno State Leeman received her first Most Outstanding Player award for reining. She can often be found riding for Auburn in both horsemanship and reining. Other than winning a national championship with Auburn, Leeman also has a Congress championship, circuit championships, and has also placed at World Shows. Although, it seems that right now her main focus is on reining for the Tigers.
“I’ve been working really hard in reining and it’s awesome to see that my hard work is paying off. Indy Roper really encouraged me to get a lot better at it. I’m trying to follow in her footsteps.”
In addition to raising horses, Leeman’s family also owns a cheese-making business. Her grandfather and his father started the company in the 1960’s. After graduating, Leeman wants to return home and join in the family work.