I remember the first time I saw Lekha and Bella. They were gracefully flying over jumps in the youth hunter division and it was no surprise that they would win.
When I pulled up the barn, Lekha and her mom were eagerly waiting for us. We greeted each other with hugs and smiles and then went into the barn.
Bella was a massive and stunning mare. She looked incredible for her shoot!
Lekha kept Bella at Tori Hope Farms in Greensboro NC. It was such a stunning facility and the staff was so helpful and nice!
Lekha raved about how much she loves riding there, and how she is honored to learn from some of the best in the industry.
Bella was donated to Lekha from Buffalo New York. She lived in the city in an underground stable, so she easily shuts out any distractions or loud noises.
Bella was so broke and unphased that it was really hard to get her ears up! At one point we had about three people leaping and dancing behind the camera. She was having none of it! Haha!
But the strangest thing happened. When Lekha would get closer to Bella and snuggle her, she would relax and just focus on her. It was clear that she absolutely adored Lekha!
In fact, Bella can be known to be a little bit nippy and sassy towards others, but around Lekha she is a saint! She really takes care of her, on the ground and in the arena!
Bella and Lekha dominated the youth hunter jumper divisions in both North Carolina and Virginia. In fact, Lekha and Bella were high point winners for the NCHJA 3ft 3 in the A division, and for the VHSA in the Junior Hunter 3’3″ Large Younger Division.
Lekha and Bella won just about everything they went into!
Unfortunately Bella was limited to 3’3″, and not too long after this shoot Bella and Lekha had to go their separate ways. Although Lekha was heartbroken, she knew it was best for them both.
They had so much love for each other, so much talent, and so much respect for the other. They were truly an amazing team and I am so honored I got to know them personally, outside of the arena.
Lekha will continue to grow in the hunter jumper community and rock it as she always does. Her new partner, Bandit is already taking her to greater heights (literally!) and they are both stealing the blues. I can’t wait to photograph them for her senior session this year!