An EXCEPTIONAL Year for Foxcroft’s EP Students

from Experiential Learning & Service Learning Coordinator Beth O'Quinn

The 2019-20 year has been exceptional in many ways. Foxcroft’s Exceptional Proficiency (EP) students have used the year to develop their skills and follow their passions.
In the April 9 parents newsletter, Director of Riding Kate Worsham shared the many accomplishments of her riding students that trained and competed during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). In addition to the girls competing under the Foxcroft banner, several other Foxcroft students were collecting ribbons at WEF with trainers they have worked with throughout the year. 

As we shared in the February 20 newsletter, Virginia B. ’22 and her Dutch Warmblood mare Efodea, training with Kimberly Prince, had many great successes, including helping her U.S. Junior Jumping Team win gold in the FEI Jumping Young Rider Nations Cup in Wellington! 

Riding with Kate and Dave Belford, Claire H. ’21 topped off a very successful season by adding the championship tricolor in the Older Children's Hunter division during WEF hunter week and won the Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular 2020 Children’s High Score Award on her mare Jade.

Training with Denise Perry in the jumper ring at WEF, Emma P. ’21 and her new horse Catano 29 finished first in the Low Junior Jumpers and gained a weekend reserve championship. Emma and Catano also had many great placings in the 1.30 - 1.35 when they moved up to the Medium Juniors and went on to compete in their first High Junior Jumper class before the WEF season ended. Emma competed on several other horses at WEF and collected some very nice ribbons on Ari 55 in both the jumpers and the 3’3 equitation divisions.

In Gulfport, Mississippi, Riley K. ’20 and her horse Rocketeer collected numerous wins, enabling Riley to claim the Gulf Coast Winter Classic circuit championship in the 3’6” Junior Hunters. Riley has ridden with the Foxcroft IEA Team and with her Vineyard Haven Farm trainers throughout the 2019-20 season. She finished the IEA season as the Regional Reserve Champion. 

In the eventing world, Olivia D. ’20 and Caroline B. ’22 made great strides! Training under the watchful eye of her father Phillip Dutton, Olivia used the warm sunny weather in Wellington to prep her two event horses Skype and Iniesta in the jumper ring for a few weeks. Clearly her preparations paid off when she moved her horses to Aiken, SC, and garnered first place in the Training Division at Paradise Horse Trails and second place in Training at Full Gallop horse trials on Iniesta. The pair has finished first or second in eight of their 10 United States Eventing Association (USEA) starts together. Olivia wrote a very nice article for about how her new partnership with Iniesta helped her to recover from the loss of her beloved horse Teddy.   
Caroline made use of the EP program to compete in Aiken and Thompson, GA, in the Novice division on her horse Sydney. Caroline said Sydney was a great partner and they finished first in the Novice division at two consecutive events. Moving up to the Training level at Paradise Farm, Caroline and Sydney took fifth place.

The EP Program also provides support to a number of students who excel in areas other than riding. 

Freshman Rebecca C. has utilized the program to gain time to train and compete in synchronized skating. Rebecca’s team set a goal this year to make it to nationals in the hardest division to do so, even though most of the team had never skated at that level before. Injuries to several team members throughout the season kept them from reaching their goal, but Rebecca said they all learned a lot and were quite pleased with their performance at the Easterns competition. We can’t wait to see what the team can accomplish next year! 

Softball games have been put on hold for Gabby G. ’23 during the current coronavirus outbreak but that has not stopped her training routine. She attended a prospect day for softball players at MIT over Spring Break, as well as a training session at a baseball/softball training facility nearby. Her travel team, the Shooting Stars, located in Ashburn, VA, originally scheduled a tournament for the weekend of March 21-22. Unfortunately, the tournament was canceled so she continues putting in work at home, attending Zoom calls with coaches and working with a program called Softball School, utilizing three videos per day for six weeks that focus on all of the different aspects of softball training.

Senior Kenzie G. continued her training and work this year as a certified EMT with Loudoun County Fire and Rescue. Kenzie managed to keep up a demanding schedule of on-call evenings and weekends as well as a challenging academic schedule. As a testament to her incredible hard work, Mackenzie was accepted to the University of Virginia as an Echols Scholar in 2020.

All in all, each of the students in the Exceptional Proficiency program have taken full advantage of this unique opportunity to develop their skills and pursue their passions.
An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.