Equestrian Drill Team Looks To Expand

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WARDSVILLE - Diane Temmen has a simple explanation whenever she is asked to describe her equestrian drill team.

"It's like synchronized swimming," she said, "except we perform our routines on horseback."

Temmen coaches her daughter Ashley and five others who make up the Mid-Missouri Bit and Bridle Club's equestrian drill team. It's a sport that requires riders to perform choreographed routines on horseback, set to music. The Temmens started their team in February after seeing a show in Columbia.

"We had about three members when we started," Ashley Temmen said. "We've since grown to six, but we're still looking for more people. Maybe as many as fifteen."

Diane Temmen says her team is the only one of its kind in the area, prohibiting the group from taking part in judged competitions. Instead, they simply perform shows around Cole County, primarily at the Windswept Farm in Jefferson City.

"We'd like to compete against other teams," Diane Temmen said. "But the area needs more teams in order for us to compete in a regional."

The team has a rather lofty goal in mind: It wants to compete in a national competition in Texas.

A few teams exist in Southwest Missouri, including a group called the Stars 'N Steers that in 2005 rode in the Presidential Inauguration in Washington D.C. Temmen said she hopes Mid-Missouri riders can use the Stars 'N Steers' story as inspiration to start their own teams.

"It's really fun," said Ashley Temmen, "and it's a great experience for kids and their horses."

To find out more about the Mid-Missouri Bit and Bridle Club team, visit its Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mid-Missouri-Bit-Bridle-Club/300714159948244.