The Foxcroft Riding Program is Back On Course at the Winter Equestrian Festival
From Director of Riding Kate Worsham
Having welcomed a number of new riders to campus this past fall and after sitting out a year due to Covid precautions, the Foxcroft Riding Program was very excited to get the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Program offering up and running again this year with a handful of riders taking advantage of this intensive training and competition experience during the winter season.
In its eighth year, this program offers riders who train on campus the opportunity to travel to Wellington, FL for January, February, and the first part of March, to take part in the WEF winter circuit. While riding is the focus of this program, the riders often gain many practical life skills while living in the Foxcroft rental house, tutoring at the Palm Beach International Academy, and training with Director of Riding Kate Worsham. Whether learning how to budget for groceries and prepare their own meals, managing communications with their tutors to keep current with their academic curriculums and attend classes at the show, or gaining horsemanship skills to keep their horses healthy and competition-ready throughout what can be a rigorous season, these students come away from the program with a multitude of enhanced skills both in and out of the saddle.
This season the program had three main participants which included a freshman, a sophomore, a senior who was a WEF Program alumna, and an additional freshman who was able to join the group and show a leased horse for the final week.
With an eventing background before arriving at Foxcroft in the fall, Cierra C. ’25 planned to switch gears a bit and focus more specifically on the jumper ring and learning her new leased horse, Generosa MK. As a new import, "Jenny" needed time to acclimate to stateside showing, and, with a carefully orchestrated plan, this meshed well with Cierra needing to gain more time in the show ring before tackling the move up to bigger jumps. This duo forged a wonderful partnership that carried them from the .80m classes through the 1.0m Low Children's Jumper division the final week with blue ribbons and two Reserve Championship honors along the way.
A special shout out to our weekly lease horse, Donner Vogel, who filled in with Cierra on Jenny's off weeks and gave Cierra her first rides around the 1.0m tracks. This sweet horse, also referred to as Henry, stepped up again at the end of our program to play in the .90m Low Children's Training Jumper classes with Subira K. ’25 in the irons. We are grateful to Oakleigh Farms for trusting us with Henry for these three weeks as he was an integral part of two riders' journeys.
Also guiding a freshly imported horse around the ring was Telina T. ’24, with her newly purchased horse Hunter Fairy, aka Nyx. Still in the early phases of getting to know each other, this pair spent some intentional time in training sessions and also contested a variety of classes at the show. They were especially memorable with two second-place finishes in some extremely competitive Low Junior Jumper classes. To supplement her time in the tack on Nyx, Telina also leased and competed in the High Children's Jumper division on an adorable mare named Glory Cate. Also a new arrival to this country, this small but mighty mare was a fun addition to our group and added some top finishes in the regular division classes and two tenth place Classic finishes to the Foxcroft banner under Telina's guidance.
Rounding out the group was Georgia R. ’22 on her wonderful leased horse, Corrado, who goes by George B around the barn. This pair upped their game throughout the season by putting in consistently fast, smooth, and accurate performances in the jump-offs to add several top-two finishes to their resume in the .90 Low Children's Training Jumper division. Although bittersweet to have this season as Georgia's final one as a Foxcroft student, her leadership skills were at the ready as she helped the two riders new to the program navigate the ins and outs of daily life during the circuit. Her mentorship and support of the other riders were appreciated by all, and her unwavering horsemanship was admired by the staff throughout the trip. All three of the riders brought smiles to our faces as they spent extra time grazing and bonding with their horses each week, as well as taking them on trail rides in Grand Prix Village and exploring the joys of riding bareback at home.
As a whole, the winter season was a fruitful learning experience and a successful venture. With various heights offered each week and the increased technicality of tracks provided by high-level course designers, this group of jumper ring riders was able to find classes that suited their individual learning process and their partnership with their horse to create a comprehensive plan to allow for learning and growth. Using the questions asked in the show rings as a guide to determine which skill sets needed to be learned, strengthened, and refined, the riders were able to use the winter circuit as a time to add support, substance, and longevity to their already solid riding foundations. Some nice wins along the way were icing on the cake!
We were thrilled to once again be able to offer this exceptional opportunity for the Foxcroft riders to take advantage of this unique living, learning, and riding experience. Until next time...happy riding!
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.