JN Exclusive: Lexi Burdon on her Mid-Circuit Championship at HITS Coachella

When Lexi Burdon was just four years old, her father would take her for bike rides on a trail behind a local barn so she could see the horses. Now at 17 years old, that love has yet to falter and Lexi is holding her own at HITS Coachella on her mare Daminka Du Lys. Check out this JN exclusive on this talented young rider and what the future might have in store for her!

Crushing at Coachella

The California native rides with Rachel and Jeff Fields of Sandhaven Farm in Woodside and while their partnership is relatively new, Lexi credits much of her recent success to the team at Sandhaven. “I only started riding with them about a year ago but in that time they have helped me and my riding so much,” shared the high school senior.

Lexi aboard “Minks.” Photo by Totem Photographics

A one year hiatus while studying abroad during her sophomore year of high school posed some issues for her riding, but her determination conquered those difficulties. “I had a hard time figuring out my eye again and overcoming the mental challenges that come along with the sport. I was really happy to find Jeff and Rachel who helped me figure out all the pieces again and have fallen into a nice groove!”

Aboard her own Daminka Du Lys, or Minks as she calls is known around the barn, Lexi has show tremendous skill in the 1.20m Junior Jumper division capturing the champion in week four of Coachella along with mid-circuit champion and a 2nd place in the 1.20m classic. “This is my first show of the season so I was really happy to have this to start out with,” said Lexi.

Celebrating their championship. Photo provided by Lexi Burdon.

“I was super happy about how consistent we were in week four with two wins, so I assumed I had enough points for champion but I had no idea that Minks would have mid-circuit in the bag as well,” she exclaimed. “We had a great break over the winter and worked hard so I was thrilled it was paying off.”

“I’ll Always Need to Ride”

Lexi loves adventuring to Southern California for HITS Coachella, not only for the wonderful weather but also for the opportunities it provides her. “I love being able to see some of the big riders out and about, like Beezie Madden, Richard Spooner, Eric Navet; those are all people I really look up to. During week four Longines had their set up for the World Cup Qualifier, so it was cool to see everything on the big screen and the extra efforts to make it special.”

As she learns by observing how some of her idols perform in the ring, Lexi is able to apply those tactics to her own mentality when working with Minks. “Minks is really fast but we just have to work on efficiency,” she shared.

Photo by Totem Photographics

“We bought Minks to move up on, but as I mentioned earlier my year off kind of put that on hold. We’ve been really consistent so I think this year is when we plan on moving up. We’re thinking about the 1.30s at the next couple shows and I guess we’ll see how things are from there.”

The duo hopes to contend at The Oaks in San Juan Capistrano, Paso Robles, the Colorado Rockies and Thunderbird before the end of the summer when Lexi will have to tackle her next big adventure, college.

I’m applying to colleges in both California and other states, but ideally I’d like to stay close to home to continue riding with Sandhaven. I’m not sure if I’d like to ride professionally but I will always need to ride!”

Spoken like a true equestrian. JN wishes Lexi the best of luck in all her endeavors and we look forward to following along with her career in the ring.