Not Your Mother's Costume Class

Oct 2, 2016 - 12:31 AM

Long Beach, Calif.—Oct. 1

When a Hollywood horse show sets out to raise money through a costume class, you can bet it won’t be anything like the friendly competition your barn puts on around Halloween. 

The Charity Pro-Am Challenge at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles pairs a professional and amateur rider for a relay class that’s really secondary to the flair and fun of costumes, music and performances.

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A troop of sea creatures helped with Francie Steinwedell-Carvin and Vani Khosla’s Little Mermaid-themed routine. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

To prep for the class riders spend ages coordinating routines, gathering outfits and recruiting assistants, and it certainly did warm up the crowd before the Emirates Gold Cup.

Each team started with a routine to wow celebrity judges Lawerence Zarian, Olivia Jordan and Sam Rubin, who awarded bonus style points. Then the riders hopped aboard their mounts to contest the course. It’s the third year of the event, and each time the costumes get crazier and the routines more poised. This year the entourage of Kristin Hardin and Nicolette Hirt—riding for Compton Jr. Posse Youth Equestrian Program sponsored by Nicole Teague f Montebello Chevrolet—opened the scene with a full on epic gladiator battle. And Jane Richard Philips and Destry Spielberg—riding for Just World International sponsored by Longines—dressed as ninjas, with actual martial artists demonstrating flips and acrobatic feats before the riders set off. 

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Ninjas Destry Spielberg (left) and Jane Richard Philips competed for Just World International. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

While ostensibly Nayel Nassar and Sloan Elmassian—who competed for Ride On, sponsored by Ventura Farms—logged the fastest time, the real winner was obviously the seven charities, which earned $250,000 in total. 

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Nayel Nassar and Dunsoghly Junior sported matching hair-dos in the ring. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

Check out the photos here.

For full coverage of the Longines Masters of Los Angeles, check out the October 17 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse.

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