Mackenzie Drazan lives in the Bay Area, California, with her family and is an accomplished rider as well as an up and coming model. We recently had the opportunity to catch up with Mackenzie for a chat and to take some pictures.
How old were you when you started riding? How did that come about?
I started riding on my first birthday. I was with my Mom in the Hamptons and she took me on on a pony ride. She was a bit worried that it might scare me but I loved it and have been riding ever since! My Mom grew up riding and she shared her love of horses with my younger Sister and me. I’ve made many friends through riding.
What type of competing do you do?
3’6” Equitation and the jumpers. I do about sixteen shows a year, all over California and most are in Sothern California. I ride every day except one per week when I do volunteer work. About a year ago, I moved to Waldenbrook Farm to train with John French.
What do you love about riding?
I love the relationship you can establish with horses. I am so lucky to be able to have horses at home, which lets me ride almost every day. I also love the thrill of jumping and the adrenaline I get from competing. I have different horses for different types of events: I have equitation horse who is 6 years old and a jumper who is 8 years old.
I understand that you volunteer for NCEFT, would you tell us a bit about the organization?
I volunteer for NCEFT every week (National Center for Equine Facilitated Therapy ). NCEFT is a non-profit organization that treats young kids with neuromuscular disorder. We do hippotherapy which focuses on muscle strengthening and team building. The kids do exercises such as vaulting and stances as well as communication drills. They get to bond with the horses and instructors as well as the volunteers. The therapy improves muscle strength and helps to make the kids more confident in groups.
Seems that you’ve been interspersing your love for horseback riding with doing some (major!) modeling? We love that you were able to merge the two for our pictures for Ariat. Can you tell us about some of the other modeling you’ve been doing?
About a year ago I signed with Stars Model Management, a modeling agency. Last summer I went to Paris and walked for the Valentino haute couture show. I was in Paris for a month with my Mom and Sister and plan to go again this summer. It was an incredible experience – the people I worked with were very nice, and the clothes were amazing. I even got to do some sightseeing with my Mom & Sister. I’m already looking into horses to ride in Paris for the summer when I go back to work. I would like to ride every weekend.
How to you find time to do all of these things AND go to school?!
I do have a lot of interests. In addition to riding, I play tennis, ski & water ski which keep me really busy. I try to manage my plans far in advance. My teachers have been great and willing to work with me if I have to miss school for a competition; I just try to give them a lot of advance notice and have my work in on time.
I would love to keep riding and competing, and I would love to continue modeling. I need to to pay for the horses!
Last Question-What are your horses’ names?
Rapha and Conejito
Mackenzie picks her favorite Ariat Products:
* Ventura Top
* Monaco Field Boot
* Olympia Breeches
* Monaco Show Jacket (available at select retailers)