Without question, some people are just born to ride. In the case of Shelly Kerron, Legacy's owner and head trainer, you could say she was born with horses in her blood. Coming from a long lineage of the West coast's most respected horse people, Shelly was literally "raised on the back of a horse".
A third-generation equestrian, Shelly began riding at age five and competing at age seven. Her grandfather, Harry Kerron, owned the Portland Riding Academy for over 50 years. Her parents, Joan Curtin and Donald Kerron, together and separately owned and operated nationally recognized hunter-jumper businesses in Oregon and Washington. Shelly also grew up learning from iconic horsemen and women including George Morris, Hap Hansen, Kenny Wheeler, and Judy Richter. When Shelly turned professional in 1984, she aptly coined her business “Legacy”.
As a junior rider, Shelly competed coast-to-coast excelling at such prestigious shows as Lake Placid, Tampa, and Los Angeles International. Shelly won the regional ASPCA Maclay Finals in 1982. As a young professional Shelly competed on the World Cup Circuit finishing in the top ten in the West Coast standings in 1989.
Continuously building upon her family’s legacy, Shelly brings a lifetime of experience to training horses. Watching Shelly work with horses is a true pleasure. Her approach is calm, consistent, and always specific to the unique needs of the horse. She teaches her students with the same process; calmly, consistently, and unique to each individual.
Elizabeth Kerron, Partner/Trainer
Elizabeth has been passionate about horses for as long as she can remember. She actually began riding before she could walk. Like her sister, Legacy owner Shelly Kerron, Elizabeth is a third generation equestrian. Growing up in Central Oregon with her parents, recognized trainers Donald and Kathy Kerron, Elizabeth has spent her life immersed with horses. Elizabeth began showing at the age of seven and throughout her junior career won numerous hunter, jumper, and equitation championships around the Pacific Northwest.
Elizabeth continued her equestrian pursuits on the collegiate circuit, where she was the Randolph College equestrian team captain for three years. Earning accolades like the Old Dominion Athletic Conference “Rookie of the Year” and Oak Ridge Medal Finals Champion, Elizabeth enjoyed many competitive successes.
Elizabeth worked for top equestrian professionals nationwide, including Teddi Ismond and Morgan Thomas, before partnering with her sister in Seattle at Legacy. Elizabeth, rides, trains, instructs, and manages many of Legacy's operations.
WSHJA Member at Large and USHJA Certified Provisional Trainer
Karen Freywald, Office Manager
As many girls are, Karen was smitten with horses since... well, forever. A Seattle native, she took her weekly riding lessons at Evergreen Equestrian Center, and later followed her dream of becoming involved in the horse business by grooming for Jim Dahlquist.
In 1980, Karen traveled to England and received her BHS Assistant Instructor & Horsemaster Certifications. Karen returned to Washington to work for Shelly’s mother, Joan Curtin, and with her guidance established the original riding school at the Kirkland Hunt Club. Karen joined the Legacy team in 1994.
Karen’s love for horses hasn’t waned one bit throughout her life. She is still an accomplished rider, successfully competing in adult amateur hunter and jumper divisions, all while being the operational backbone of Team Legacy!
USHJA Nominating Committee Chair and USHJA Joint Amateurs Task Force Member
Laney Senyohl, Competition Coordinator
Some 20 years ago Laney came to the Kirkland Hunt Club for a riding lesson and to check on her uncle’s race horses that were in the sales barn. That’s when she first met Shelly, calmly sitting astride her horse.
Laney trained at the Kirkland Hunt Club alongside Shelly for a number of years, until Shelly formally asked her to use her professional experience as a CPA and CFO to organize Legacy's show team. Laney’s professional business background has proved invaluable, providing Legacy with a skilled show coordinator and helping Legacy's clients track and control the cost of horse show participation.
Laney makes the showing experience a smooth and fun-filled experience for all. As the go-to person responsible for not only the myriad of show forms, but also ensuring riders and horses are in the right place at the right time, everyone at Legacy counts on Laney to maintain sanity in the often hectic world of showing.
Ross Alexander, Academy Instructor
Hailing all the way from Alaska, Ross' passion for horses has taken him across the pacific northwest. Ross began riding when he was just six years old and he has never looked back. Throughout his junior career, Ross earned accolades in both the hunter and equitation rings, with a few Alaskan derby and medal final victories to boot. No stranger to hard work, Ross mucked stalls and paddocks throughout his junior years to help support his passion.
Ross first ventured into Washington prior to college, where he worked for Sally Collins before attending college in Portland. Although his riding ambitions took a back seat during college, Ross never forgot his dream of riding in a grand prix. After graduation, Ross worked for Gallops Tack Shop in Portland, where he also rode with Jennifer Coxx. Ultimately, Ross' passion for riding drew him back into the barn aisle and Ross joined Team Legacy in August. Ross is excited to learn the ropes of the horse business as he works toward becoming a grand prix contender.
Victor Ramirez, Jaime Gomez, & Ramon Vallejo Grooms/Stable Hands
The way the horses nicker at the sound of their voices is proof that horses love being under the care of Victor, Jaime, and Ramon. Having all spent their careers with horses, the guys are always three steps ahead when it comes to caring for the horses and the farm. Legacy considers itself most fortunate to have the services of these stellar grooms at home and on the road at shows.
Coaches & Clinicians
Different perspectives lead to different techniques throughout the learning process. Even receiving similar instruction from different voices allows riders to deepen their understanding of familiar concepts. During the year, Legacy hosts clinicians and coaches to augment the learning and training processes. These sessions are conducted by nationally recognized, well–respected clinicians such as Jeff Cook, Joan Curtin, and Judy Richter.
In addition, Legacy utilizes guest instructors for special ring-side coaching at horse shows to provide you and your horse with tools to achieve the best show performance.