A drill team is a group of 4-16 riders executing smoothly choreographed maneuvers to music or voice commands. “Competition drill” is an exciting blend of precision, speed, and skilled horsemanship. Drill is billed as an All-American, family-oriented sport that values the spirit of our western heritage. It is one of the few sports where females and males, young and old, compete against one another in horsemanship and drilling to determine the winner. Popular with women’s and kid’s riding clubs, as well as the male-dominated sheriff posse units in the 1940s and 1950s, the sport declined in participation until a recent resurgence took hold. Drill is once again expanding rapidly and growing in popularity.
The “California Coto Cup”, named for and sponsored by Melanie Coto and MonteVerde Ranch, is the premier equestrian drill team competition in California. Offering the largest cash prizes, Coto Cup attracts the top precision rodeo drill teams from across the western states. Through a partnership with MonteVerde Ranch, the event is produced by the California State Horsemen’s Association Inc., a non-profit organization founded in 1942 for the purpose of fostering interest in all breeds of horses and forms of horsemanship throughout the state of California.
Two of the top drill team organizations in California reside right here at Monteverde Trails Ranch. The Blue Shadows and California Rangers are both volunteer non-profit organizations, each of which have been teaching kids for well-over 50 years. Using top-quality horses provided by the Ranch, the organizations are able to teach horseback riding and drill from the ground up to novices and experienced riders, without requiring horse ownership. The advanced all-star teams of these two organizations are currently the number one and two-ranked teams of the twenty plus elite level teams competing in California.
MonteVerde is proud to sponsor the “The California Coto Cup” and to be a leading supporter of the sport of equestrian drill.