The Drill Team Exhibition at the Oregon State Fair was an absolute joy to watch. Teams varied from four to twelve horses, from princesses to cowgirls, and each one performed intricate and fascinating maneuvers… and made it look easy. Here are some of my better photos (curse you, arena dust and lighting!)
This neon green team was stunning in their precision. Here they are smoothly performing a twelve horse pinwheel.
The same team performed the Split or Double Thread, where one column of pairs passed smoothly through another as they cross in the middle of the arena.
This team was Phantom of the Opera-themed, with a “Christine” on that gorgeous sabino drafter and the other riders in vests and masks. Here they are performing a basic wedge, which Christine and the lead phantom reach for each other.
At the end of this team’s performance, their youngest member galloped out on his miniature horse with a rose between his teeth, and handed it up to “Christine,” and then they did a sort of victory lap with their mismatched steeds.
Another large team performing a sweep around the arena. It takes a lot of skill to monitor each horse’s gait so carefully!
This team did a lot of interesting moves even though they only had four riders. Here they are reuniting after a column roll back.
This move was so cool I had to edit the picture to illustrate it- I have no idea what’s it’s called! The riders established a circle (the blue lines) and went round a few times before serpentining one by one through the circle (the red arrows) to reverse directions. One of the larger teams performed this same maneuver which is absolutely stunning with so many!
All of the teams in the arena for the placings. In the bottom left you can see someone doing a victory lap.
What a blast drill team is to watch! I hope I have the opportunity to see it again soon. A big thanks to Robyn for inviting me!
For more information on Drill Team maneuvers, check out the Western States Equestrian Drill Team Association‘s diagram booklet (pdf).