“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.”
― Phil Jackson
The Islip Horsemen's Association Mounted Drill Team "The Spirit of Long Island" has been performing their precision drill throughout New York and New Jersey since 1978. The team consists of 4 - 12 horse and rider pairs who practice weekly. Members of the drill team have changed over the years, but the enthusiasm and dedication to perfection has remained constant. The drill itself contains classical dressage movements as well as the thrill of traditional cavalry routines. The Spirit of Long Island Mounted Drill Team always enjoys going to new places. If you are interested in joining or having The Spirit of Long Island perform at your next event, please contact Loretta Hall at RettHall@aol.com
To entertain and demonstrate sportsmanship, horsemanship, team work and dedication.
“The Spirit of Long Island” was formed in 1978 by IHA member, John Jorgensen who was a member of the New York City Mounted Police Unit.
Riding in a drill team improves both riding skills and connection to the horse. The patterns and music require riding your horse precisely and with control. Timing and synchronization are key elements. You must adjust your horse’s speed, make exact turns and ride accurate patterns to keep time with the music and other horses and riders. It is excellent training for the horse as well. He/she must listen for cues and respond to your requests immediately. In addition to improving horsemanship skills, working as a team member with a common goal for the whole team promotes cooperation and consideration. The focus is on unity rather than competition. Team members learn to support one another and help each other be successful in order to create a pleasing pattern. Riding with the team encourages good communication and compassion. Drill riding is one of the oldest forms of organized riding, and dates back to Cavalry soldiers who needed to coordinate with each other as they rode into battle.
The Spirit of Long Island is currently being coached by Loretta Hall and assisted by Suzanne Kettle who continue with the team’s tradition of keeping the American spirit alive. The drill team is made up of riders of all disciplines, some of whom have been with the team for over 10 years. Our horses range in age from 5 years to an impressive 32 years old and they include such breeds as quarter horse, thoroughbred, appaloosa, hanovarian cross, morgan, tennessee walking horse and paint. The riders and their horses maintain a high level of discipline, resilience and a strong determination to achieve excellence. Throughout the year the team performs at local fairs and horse shows, and participates in parades across Long Island. We have had the privilege of performing at both Belmont and Saratoga Race Tracks and each year on Labor Day we have the Honor of performing for the Veterans at the VA Hospital in Northport. From 2004 – 2006 we held the title of Northeastern Regional Drill Team Champions and in 2009 more than a few dreams were realized when we were invited to participate in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “The Spirit of Long Island” Mounted Drill Team enjoys showing that a little hard work and lots of fun can result in a performance that not only entertains but is also an excellent example of good horsemanship.
If you are interested in becoming a member of The Spirit of Long Island or just want to learn more about us, please contact Loretta Hall at RettHall@aol.com.
2018 Spirit of Long Island Drill Team Calendar
*All dates are subject to change*
March 7, 14, 21 & 28 - walking practices at Central Islip Recreation Center from 6:15PM - 8:15PM.
April 4 - 5:45PM weekly Wednesday evening practices begin at the Bohemia Equestrian Center.
April 28 - Islip Horsemen's Association Fundraising event at the Bohemia Equestrian Center. Performance time 10:15.
May 20 - Muttontown Horsemen's Association Festival of Horses at Muttontown Preserve. Performance time approximately 12:00.
May 28 - Bohemia Memorial Day Parade
June 8 - Belmont Stakes Festival of Horses at Belmont Park. 150th running of the Belmont Stakes Race! Performance time approx. 3:15.
June 10 - Floral Park Belmont Stakes Street Festival at Tulip Avenue in Floral Park. Celebrating the 150th running of The Belmont Stakes. Performance time 3:30.
August 26 - Hallockville Farm Museum Country Fair and Craft Show. Opening Flag Ceremony and performance. Times TBD
Sept. 3 - VA Hospital at Northport. Performance time approx. 1:00.
Sept. 15 - Smithtown Heritage Country Fair. Performance time TBD
Sept 22 & 23 - LIFair at Old Bethpage Restoration Village. 2 Performances a day/times TBD
Oct 7 - PumpkinFest at Suffolk County Farm. 2 Performances, times TBD