Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Foxfield Drill Team

For nearly fifty years, the Foxfield Drill Team has been performed for audiences at major horse events including the 1984 Olympics, the Devon Horse Show, Equitana USA, the National Horse Show, the Volvo World Cup and last weekend's Special Olympics World Games at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California. 
Based in Westlake Village, California, the team is made up of sixteen riders aged six to eighteen. They ride without saddles or bridles, guiding their mounts with their weight, legs, voice and a thin neck wire.  
The show opened with a short performance by four team members and two miniature donkeys.
Then the entire team rode into the ring. 
Foxfield is a hunter/jumper barn, so most of the horses and ponies were of sport type. However, I'm pretty sure I spotted at least one Arab and a couple Quarter Horse.
It's worth noting that most of these horses do double duty. In addition to performing with the drill team, they're also accomplished show horses. 
They started with the kind of maneuvers that all mounted drill teams do...
and then they moved on to what they're most famous for: jumping. 
They jumped single file...
and they jumped in pairs. They even jumped in pairs going opposite directions, but I didn't get a picture of that.
 After all the jumping, most of the team lined up...
and the individual performances began.
This horse did a little bit of dressage... 
and this one jumped a great big fence. 
So easy!
As a horse crazy kid in California, I grew up watching and wishing to be a member of the Foxfield Drill Team.
Thirty years have passed since then, but not much as changed. I love watching these girls ride, and even though I'm much too long in the tooth, I still wish I was riding among them!

4 comments:

  1. This is awesome! My trainer rode at the Foxfield Riding Academy when she was a kid.

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  2. Our team currently uses mostly tbs, quarter horses, mis. Ponies and warmbloods. There r currently no Arabs on our team. The flea bitten grey you looks like a cross is actually a purebred warmblood gelding named velocity. Most of our team horses do low level shows as they also double as our lesson horses. Some of them are leased and do a rated shows.

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  3. I ride at foxfield riding school and every Friday I got after school and help clean the drill horses before practice and next year I got invited to be on the drill team 😋

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    Replies
    1. You're living my dream. Congratulations!

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