American Saddlebred enthusiast Todd Leffler died on April 22 after a car accident in Simpsonville, Ky. He was 44.
Mr. Leffler got his start with Saddlebreds as a teenager at J&J Farms in Emmaus, Pa. During his 12 years there he taught and showed gaited horses, eventually working his way up to assistant trainer.
He continued showing horses through J&J Farms long after he moved out of the area. His most successful mount was Fox Creek’s Cut To The Chase, whom he co-owned. Together the pair won many awards, including the three-gaited open park grand championship at the Children’s Benefit Horse Show (Pa.) and the USEF Zone 11 three-gaited park reserve championship in 2004.
Mr. Leffler’s equestrian career also included transporting hunter/jumper show horses and managing Rolling Acres Farm in Brookeville, Md. In 2006, he returned to his beloved Saddlebreds, taking over as farm manager at Alliance Stud in Simpsonville, Ky., where he oversaw all of the horses and operations on the property.
His friends remember Mr. Leffler as a good person with a big heart. “I don’t know anyone who didn’t like Todd,” recalled Joe Heiney of J&J Farms. “He was the kind of guy that people just took to. Just a really good guy.”
Mr. Leffler is survived by his wife, Mary Lisa Nicholson Leffler, of Brookeville, Md.; his father, James H. Leffler, of Emmaus, Pa.; and his brothers, Mark Leffler, of Auburn, Calif., and James D. Leffler, of Emmaus, Pa.