A Proliferation of Proficiency: An Update from our EP Riders

There are 25 students participating in Foxcroft’s special Exceptional Proficiency program and 17 of them are riders. Some of these girls train with Director of Riding Kate Worsham, both on campus and in Florida at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Those who specialize in eventing and dressage, along with some hunter-jumper competitors, work with other trainers.
We are proud of all of our riders and gave all the EP students an opportunity to report on what they have accomplished this fall. Read more below to see their stories, and look for a report from some of our non-riding EP participants who are involved in athletic and musical endeavors; showing livestock; training to be an EMT; and running their own nonprofit in January.
Note: Riders compete in hunter/jumper/equitation, unless otherwise indicated. 
Elena B. ’20 (Trainer: Kate Worsham) This fall, I worked with my horses on finishing touches in their showing program. Unfortunately, in the middle of preparing one of my junior hunters for WEF, we had to put her down. This mare, Hazel, taught me what the meaning of being a true equestrienne is. In my period of owning her, we had many complications with her health. Ms. Kate and I had to start her from the beginning after many months out of work, and we were in the process of making her confident enough to jump. I used to be focused on the performance of the horse in the show ring and what ribbons it was winning. Hazel let me realize that seeing a horse progress and be satisfied with itself is more important than any ribbons it could receive.
Before the semester began in August, I attended Junior Hunter Finals at Hits on the Hudson in Saugerties, NY. My rounds with my other mare, Emi, were great! For a young mare, I am very proud of what we accomplished as a pair. I was unable to show for part of the semester because I had a concussion, but Emi will be attending WEF with me from January to March. Emi and I compete in the 3'6" Large Junior Hunters, and we sometimes have trouble connecting during handy rounds. Miss Kate and I are working on tighter turns and my ability to keep Emi connected through a course. 
Caroline B. ’22 (Eventing; Trainer: Lindsay Kelley) My horse Sammy is doing great, and we are getting him competition-ready for Aiken, SC, where I will be competing this winter. 
Emma D. ’20 (Trainer: Worsham) In the past six months, I have showed mostly in Older Children’s Hunters at the Upperville Premier Horse Show and Loudoun Benefit Horse Show, which were both in June; at the Vermont Summer Festival Horse Show in July; and the Swan Lake Harvest Festival Horse Show (November).
Currently, I am training for WEF 2019 on my horse, Danny (Dapper Dan). I will be competing during weeks 5-8 and will show in the Older Children’s Hunters. Then I am planning to move into the 3’3" Large Junior Hunters
Mackenzie H. ’19 (Trainer: Worsham) I had such a great show season this past year! I took the reins on a new horse, Empirical (aka Guido) last spring. While I was learning on him, I switched him to a different discipline and I was still having tons of fun on my partner of two years, Fun Maker (Dennis).
At the end of the summer, I took over one of my dad's horses, C'est La Vie (Chico). I took him to two shows and we did well at both. At the November Harvest Classic at Swan Lake Stables in Gettysburg, PA, I even accomplished my goal of winning a jumper classic before I aged out. [She must move up to adult classes soon.] Not only did Chico make that happen, but it was the first time that we had competed together at that jump height. There were so many other exciting moments of joy this season! 
My horses have already arrived in Florida, and we are all getting ready for a crazy, busy, and fun season in Wellington, at WEF!
Olivia D. ’20 (Eventing; Trainer: Philip Dutton) Last summer, I competed at the Eventing Young Rider Championships at Rebecca Farm in Montana, which was such an incredible and amazing experience. My team and I won the team gold! This was my last competition with my horse Mr. Medicott (Cave). There was a retirement ceremony for him to honor his long career of competing at the high levels.
After that, I was able to begin a new partnership with a young horse called Fernhill Finders Keepers (Teddy). We had our first competition together on October 14th at the Maryland Horse Trials and won the Junior Training division. That event gave me great confidence in him, and also made me excited for the future with him.
All fall, we have mainly been working on getting to know each other in preparation for Wellington, FL, and Aiken, SC, where I will be competing with him this winter. I am hoping to move up the levels with him and grow our partnership, and I think that the time and hard work we will spend in Wellington and Aiken will really help us to do that.
Matty H. ’19 (Dressage; Trainer: Allison Spivey) Matty had a very successful fall, highlighted by being named champion at the Great American Insurance Group/U.S. Dressage Federation Region 1 finals among Juniors competition at the Training level in October.
Riley K. ’20 (Trainers: Tracey Brennan & Kate Worsham): I had a very successful fall. In September, I finished 7th overall and received the sportsmanship award in Maryland Horse Show Association Medal Finals with my horse Privilege. I also was Low Children’s Jumpers champion with Corfu LS La Silla at that show.
I had another great weekend at Duke Jump for the Children in October. I had a 1st in the WIHS Hunter Phase and a 2nd in the Jumper Phase to earn the Overall WIHS Equitation Champion title. I had a 1st in the Maclay and a 2nd in the WIHS/NAL Children’s Jumper. I will be showing in Gulfport, MS, in late February and early March.
Cecilia M. ’22 (Trainer: Worsham) This fall, I showed my horse Lux at the Middleburg Classic Horseshow with Foxcroft. I also went to the November Harvest Classic Horseshow at Swan Lake Stables in Littlestown, PA.
Emma P. ’21 (Trainers: Denice DeRisio Perry & Kate Worsham) In October, I was accepted to compete at all three major indoor horse shows with my jumper, Ari 55. This is a huge honor as two of those shows only invite the top 25 in the country to compete. I am especially proud of Ari because he only competed during 6-7 months of the qualifying period (which is a full year) and still made it into the top 25 Children's Jumpers in the country. Each time Ari goes to a horse show he gives me his all and teaches me something new! 

At the first of these shows, the Capital Challenge, I was also able to show my new jumper, Santos. In the 1.15 High Children's Jumper Classic, Santos earned a 5th place ribbon, with Ari 55 right behind him in 6th. I even qualified my equitation horse, F15, to compete at Capital Challenge during Equitation Weekend. This was a goal I had because I have been working with F15 all year to convert him from a jumper to an equitation horse. F15 was amazing in his first big equitation final, I'm so proud of him!  Both of us have grown a lot and learned so much the past year. I feel that we are ready for the 2019 season and I see great things in our future!  

Sadly, Ari was unable to compete at the second big indoor show, Pennsylvania National, due to a minor injury, but he was ready to go when it was time for the Washington International Horse Show. We didn't earn a ribbon, but Ari was amazing and we had a great trip around the ring! Ari and I made memories that I will cherish forever, which is more valuable than a ribbon!

In November I attended the Swan Lake Horse Show with my new jumper, Santos. I wanted to practice jumping 1.20, as that is what I will be doing with him in 2019. It was my first time jumping Santos that high at a show and we earned a 2nd place ribbon!
As I say goodbye the the 2018 season, I see all that I am thankful for. My horses were amazing. I was also given many wonderful opportunities to ride other horses and ponies, and I was not only successful, but I learned so much and grew as a rider. Below are High Point Year End Awards I earned along with my equine partners.
  • Ari 55  was the Virginia Horse Show Association (VHSA) & Maryland Horse Show Association Children's Jumper Champion for 2018. He also earned Reserve Champion for Zone 3 in his division.
  • Twizzler, a pony owned by Judy Hahn (Berryville, VA) that I have been riding for the past year and a half, is the 5th ranked small green pony in the country and will be honored by the U.S. Equestrian Federation at their year-end banquet. She was the VHSA Small Green Pony Champion and Zone 3 Reserve Champion.
  • Cedilo, a medium green pony that I showed some this past year, earned a 3rd place ribbon with the VHSA and 5th in the MHSA. Cedilo was 25th in the nation among the medium green ponies. 
  • Santos only showed in the Children's Jumper Division 3 times but was successful each time out and even earned year-end awards 6th in MHSA and 8th in the VHSA
  • F15, had a transition year but qualified for all of the Equitation Finals, which is huge honor.
I will be traveling to WEF several weekends a month from January through March, competing with Santos, Ari, and perhaps F15.
Thanks for following the EP students’ activities and accomplishments! It means so much to know that the Foxcroft community cares about each student’s hobbies and passions outside of school! 
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.