The Jumping Derbies at Foxfield are among the few events of their kind in the United States. Since their inception in 1980, thousands of spectators have come to watch top riders compete from all over the west. The Derbies have proven to be great testing grounds for future champions. Many of today's Grand Prix riders competed here earlier in their careers, including 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson, three-time World Cup Finals Champion Meredith Michaels Beerbaum, Susie Hutchison, Hap Hansen and Mark Watring, among others.
Adding to the special aura of the events is the setting itself. Nestled against the Santa Monica Mountains in Westlake Village, California, the grounds are stunning. Majestic oaks and towering eucalyptus trees have helped make Foxfield a fixture in the Southern California riding circuit for nearly five decades.
The contests always begin in the Main Ring, after which the riders venture out into the field where they attempt to conquer banks, ditches, skinny gates and the famous water jump. The course then takes them back into the ring to finish out the first round. Everyone who goes "clean" (no faults, fall-offs or refusals) returns for an exciting jump-off, with the winner being the horse and rider with the fastest, cleanest time. Sunday morning begins with the Calabasas Saddlery Junior & Amateur Jumping Derby and utilizes the same 20-24 obstacles and course as its cousin, the higher Foxfield Jumping Derby sponsored by Bob Smith BMW, which takes place Sunday afternoon.