What is your name and age?
Hadley Wagter. I am 8 years old.
How long have you been involved with horses?
Since I was born; my mom is a trainer. I learned to canter when I was four years old.
Do you have a trainer?
Yes — my mom, Paige Wagter, at Burkwood Farm in Blaine, Washington.
What’s the hardest part about owning or caring for horses?
The hardest part is when one of them passes away, and you lose them.
What kind of riding do you do?
I ride hunters and jumpers. I ride the children’s hunter ponies with a pony I lease named Blondie, and I ride the jumpers with my new pony, Luna.
Tell us about your horses. How long have you had them?
Blondie is a German Riding Pony. She is about 14 years old. I have been riding her for almost a year now. She won a lot in the short stirrup ponies last year, and we are moving up to the children’s pony division this year. Luna is an Arabian cross. She is 16. She won a silver medal twice at pony finals, which goes to the 1.15 meter height. I hope to make pony finals with her next year.
What are your horse riding and training goals?
With Luna, I want to qualify for pony finals. We have to compete at 1.10 meter, which we won’t be ready for this year, but hopefully, I will be next year. With Blondie, I hope to win year-end champion for Washington State in the Children’s ponies this year. My biggest goals as a junior rider are to someday compete at Maclay Finals and do my first Grand Prix.
Any accomplishments you’re especially proud of?
I did my first pony derby on Bumble Buzz, which was super fun. I was reserve champion at Desert International Horse Park in Thermal, California in November. We go back in February, and I can’t wait!
What are some obstacles or challenges you’ve had to overcome with your horse training or riding?
I work to not overthink things. I can get in my head and just need to go do it and not overanalyze.
Name one or two of your heroes in the horse world — people you admire and respect. Why did you choose them?
My mom, Christine, and Lina. They are the trainers at Burkwood Farm. I chose them because they take the best care of our horses and they work so hard.
What is your dream career? Do you see horses in your adult life?
I will be a horse trainer at Burkwood Farm. I want to work with my mom and someday take over the farm.
Brandi Coplen has shown AQHA nationally as a youth and amateur. With a successful show career at top shows in the world, her focus is now on her twin girls’ riding. Passionate about youth programs, she sees our youth as the future and success of the industry. Brandi was an Area Director for the National Snaffle Bit Association and helped them promote the National Snaffle Bit Association Youth Smart Points program.
Brandi is a Realtor who partners with Tresie Weirsma as Windermere Equestrian Living’s The North Group, specializing in farm, acreage and equestrian properties. [email protected] or www.brandicoplen.withwre.com
Find out more at www.brandicoplen.withwre.com.