September 2019 - Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team
Written by CRM
Saturday, 31 August 2019 18:17
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Successful year includes returning to original stomping grounds at Hansen Dam.

The Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team got its start at Hansen Dam in 1957 and the troop finally returned home to the horse park this June. “It’s good to be home again,” said the team’s Janet Johnstone. “We made a bold move to leave the other facility we were riding at due to some safety issues. We didn’t have a place to ride and I am grateful that the Langer Equestrian Group’s Marnye Langer reached out to us. Everyone at Hansen Dam Horse Park has been more than accommodating.”

Janet is the Lieutenant Colonel of the drill team at the Lake View Terrace Post and has been an integral part of the troop for several decades. “I started with the Blue Shadows back in 1986,” she explained. “I was already an adult at that point. I had grown up riding and a friend of mine introduced me to the Blue Shadows. What is interesting about the troop is that you don’t need to have a horse to participate and, in fact, most of the riders don’t own their own horses.”

Photo: ©Astor Morgan

The Blue Shadows Mounted Drill Team is open to riders of all ages starting at 8-years-old and up. “There’s about 60 of us right now,” she said. “We ride Monday through Friday night each week and emulate the United States Cavalry. I haven’t found a better way to define teamwork than a mounted drill team. It’s also an awesome sight to see everyone riding together.”

Photo: ©Astor Morgan

(Editor’s note: Three-time USHJA Zone 10 Pony Jumper Finals team member Tabitha Okitsu is a Blue Shadows rider.)

The team has had an exciting year thus far. They kicked off the year by marching in the Pasadena Rose Parade for the first time. Earlier this summer, the drill team traveled to Reno to compete at the Reno Rodeo Championship Drill Team Competition and placed third overall. Recently the Blue Shadows were the Grand Champions at the CA Coto Cup Rodeo Drill Competition at LA Equestrian Event Center.

Hansen Dam Horse Park is proud to welcome the Blue Shadows back to their original home To learn more, contact Janet Johnstone at 818-731-3096 or visit www.blueshadows.org. Article provided by LEG UP News.

Photo: ©Astor Morgan