The Hudson Valley Horrors is the world’s first non-urban, flat-track women’s roller derby league and is part of the grass-roots derby revival. We are owned by the skaters and for the skaters. We think derby is the best thing next to B-horror movies, fangs and rock ‘n roll. We won’t stop until we are on ESPN and kids are playing with roller derby action figures. It’s heart-pounding, blood-curdling action…so watch out, we just might come getcha. Oh, the Horror!
History of the League
The Hudson Valley Horrors (HVHRD) were hell spawned in 2006 when founder, Jeshurun Nickerson, aka Rxy Ramalotte, was looking to stir things up in the Hudson Valley area.
A former athlete with a yen for something more, the erstwhile Jeshurun was bitten by the derby bug after watching Rollergirls, an A&E television series about TXRD (Texas Roller Derby) and finding Gotham Girls Roller Derby, only mere counties away. The aspect of the full-contact sport, along with mini-skirts, fishnets, athletic training, and the possibility of “having it be like Halloween every day” is what drove the newly named Rxy Ramalotte to pursue starting a team in an area where most wouldn’t even bother to look.
Having never skated before, Rxy figured she better sharpen her skills so she could be a roll model for her soon-to-be league. She, along with co-founder Scarlet Bloodletter, created flyers, plastering them all over local bars, schools, fairs and festivals. It wasn’t too long after that HVHRD realized they needed a home. As luck would have it, a local roller rink called in regards to a flyer posted in a nearby skate shop and thus, the first practice was held in Accord in June of 2006. 11 skaters showed up at that first practice.
The rest of the Horrors soon shared a similar love for the sport that Rxy had discovered. The camaraderie, meeting new people, running a business, and doing something greater than themselves, offered a break from the daily grind. Many loved the alter-ego that a skater could embrace. Derby was the place where they could get their frustrations out and explore another side of themselves while being athletic at the same time.
Since the Horrors were the first non-urban derby league in the world, it landed them a spot on ABC news with Charles Gibson in July of 2006. This was a result of an article by Peter Applebaum in the New York Times. The attention helped bring in more skaters and local fans.
HVHRD moved to Hyde Park Roller Magic in December of 2006 for a more centrally located home to their members. After a year of hardcore training, the girls hosted their first exhibition bout in February of 2007. To celebrate Mardi Gras of Kingston, a town in the Hudson Valley, HVHRD set up a rink under a bridge and skated for 40 minutes in ten degree weather. This exhibition bout prepared them for their first ever bout in June of 2007 against Massachusettes Pioneer Valley Roller Derby. While HVHRD lost by quite a bit, the first bout offered experience that was immeasurable, and it was then that they took becoming a league much more seriously.
Because skaters came in and out of the league, HVHRD started operating as a fully functional professional group of skaters, and set out by holding formal tryouts in August of 2007. They soon added a sister program to the process whereby a veteran skater takes a piece of Fresh Meat under her wing for guidance, suggestions, support and team building. Since then, HVHRD has held many successful tryouts, giving all Fresh Meat a tiered system to work under with the end goal of being a crossing-over, diesel, super fast skating machine.
In the spring of 2009, HVHRD recruited enough skaters to form their very own b-team, the zomBsquad. HVHRD now has two travel teams that can skate against other leagues A and B teams forming in the area, particularly in the tri-state area.
In the summer of 2009, HVHRD fostered the growth of a men’s team and are in the process of starting a junior flat track roller derby association.
The remaining founders Rxy Ramalotte, Pinky Swears and Rough Gem have seen HVHRD grow into what they are now. HVHRD is constantly learning how to streamline as a league and to focus on what is essential – the sport of roller derby, making the game exciting by playing hard, and, most importantly, never giving up.