One of the entertainment features at this year's Marcus Fair will be the Westernaires, billed as 'The Finest Precision Mounted Drill Team At Speed In The World."
There will be two performances at the arena on Saturday, Aug. 9, at the Marcus Fair Arena. One performance will be at 1 p.m. and the other will be after the draft horse competition in the evening. The team will also participate in the parade on Saturday, Aug. 9.
The Westernaires is a mounted precision drill organization composed of Jefferson County, Colorado, youngsters from 9 to 19 years of age. Founded in 1949, Westernaires has provided training in western riding, precision drills, and horse care for over 50 years. Some members also elect to receive training in specialty acts such as bull whips, trick riding and dressage.
In addition to learning about care of horses and honing their skill at precision mounted drill, Westernaires members develop important intangible qualities. These include the discipline that comes from training every week for years to achieve promotion to the top teams of the organization, the sense of teamwork from riding week after week with a group of riders trying to gel into a polished performance, the sense of personal responsibility from caring for horses, and community pride from gaining a personal appreciation for their western heritage.
Their home is Fort Westernaire adjacent to the Jefferson County Fairgrounds near Golden, Colorado, where the organization trains year round. It maintains three outdoor arenas and three indoor arenas as well as stables for the string of livery horses it owns and rents out to the members on an hourly basis. Fort Westernaire also houses classrooms, a club store, a museum, and caretakers' quarters.
The group is non-profit, with members paying modest annual dues.