Dressing the Part
It wasn’t all speed dashes and fence-jumping at the Los Angeles Masters. In between the main events, audiences were treated to beguiling and dramatic performances by classical dressage maestro Clémence Faivre.
Faivre, who will also be performing at the Longines Hong Kong Masters in February, is a world-famous “trick rider” who performs the art of haute école—a discipline that focuses on maximising a horse’s mental and physical abilities while establishing deep understanding and dialogue between equine and rider. The horse, throughout all training and performances, remains free of constraints and physical coercion.
In period costume, Faivre rides into the arena without reins, her horse’s long, chestnut mane fluttering freely like the fabled hair of Rapunzel. Melodramatic music and a sea of purple light create a fantastical setting for the ensuing series of tricks, which include trotting backwards, jumping left and right on cue, and dancing on hind legs for an astonishing length of time.