Dress­ing the Part

Hong Kong Tatler - - Features -

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.

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