Athlete of the Week: Zionsville Community High School senior has passion for horses, hockey


It might be a unique sporting combination, but Bostyn Leffler makes it work.

The Zionsville Community High School senior competes in equestrian events and hockey.

Leffler started playing hockey in 2010.

“I mainly play defense, but I’ve also played forward and spent a couple of years filling in as a goalie,” she said. “I’ve played many sports, but nothing has matched the thrill of hockey. It’s a fast-paced game that is always changing and keeps you on your toes. I love the physical and mental challenges that hockey entails, as well as the team environments and the connections I’ve made over the years.”

Leffler played for the Zionsville Hockey Club, but she was the only girl on the team. She also played for the Junior Fuel’s 19U girls team.

“I enjoyed the higher level of competition and speed of playing in the boys high school league,” Leffler said. “I faced many more obstacles and negativity as the only girl. But with the girls team, the environment was much more welcoming and inclusive, and I always enjoyed my experiences both on and off the ice.”

Leffler said she is in the process of beginning a women’s club team at Purdue University.

“I plan to play and be involved with hockey as long as I can,” she said.

Leffler plans to major in agribusiness or animal sciences, or perhaps both.

Leffler, who started riding horses in 2012, competes in Saddlebred horse shows.

“Saddlebred horses are a performance-based breed, and while they are capable of doing all the things that other horse breeds do, they’re known best for their flashy movement and commanding presence in the show ring,” said Leffler, who has four horses.

Leffler was one of six girls selected to represent the U.S. in the Saddle Seat World Cup in July 2022 in Harrodsburg, Ky. She said the event occurs every two years in either South Africa or Kentucky. The selection process began in 2019, with video submissions. Then the judges chose 20 riders to progress to the live trials at William Woods University in Missouri. The selections were originally for a team that would compete in 2020, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition was postponed to 2022.

“The World Cup competition was a very unique and incredible experience,” Leffler said. “Since riding isn’t usually a team sport, it was something out of the ordinary for me. I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to represent my country as well as connect with riders from other countries over our mutual passion for the sport.”

Favorite athlete: Bobby Orr

Favorite subject: English

Favorite movie: “Star Wars”

Hobbies: Baking, working out and reading.