Porter Toepper Started Young – Junior Rider has a Passion for Jumping

The Northwest Horse Source is celebrating youth in action. Our newest column will feature and celebrate young equine enthusiasts from all over the Northwest who inspire, uplift, or just have fun with horses. The future of the horse industry depends on youth participation. We look forward to sharing their stories and adventures! If you are 18 years old or younger and would like to participate, we invite you to share your story here.


What is your name and age?

My name is Porter Toepper, and I am 12 years old.


How long have you been involved with horses?

I got involved with horses when I was born (because of my mom) and started riding when I was two years old.


Do you have a trainer?

I ride at Burkwood farms in Blaine, Washington, with my trainer Paige Wagter.  I learned to ride at a performance barn my mom used to clean stalls at as a kid. Then I moved onto hunter/jumper, 4-H, AQHA, dressage, and Pinto shows, which soon evolved to just hunter/jumper and dressage. Hunter/jumper has always been my passion, but dressage is excellent for the rider and horse (and I consider it the foundation of riding).


What’s the hardest part about owning or caring for horses?

In my opinion, the most challenging part of owning and caring for horses is the responsibility. For example, you have to check on and take care of your horses daily to keep them happy and healthy.


Tell us about your horse(s):

I own and will show my jumper baby and my new hunter baby. Air Affair Z, aka Ari (my jumper) is a Zangersheide mare, and Crowned Laurentius, aka Lars (my hunter) is a Dutch Warmblood gelding.

Lars is 4 years old and comes from California and Ari is 6 years old. Ari originated from Belgium, then was shipped to Kansas, then home to me in Washington. I have owned Ari for about 3 months and have had Lars for about a week.


What are your horse riding and training goals?

This year, my goals in the horse world are to show in the baby greens 2’6”–3’ on Lars and show Ari in show jumping at 1.0 meter.


Any accomplishments you’re especially proud of?

Some of the accomplishments I am most proud of this year are getting champion in 2’6” good seat and hands, excellence in equitation, and reserve champion in .75-.80 meter jumpers on the national overall year-end awards on my quarter horse CNP Ultimate Addiction (aka Tyler), who I recently sold.


What are some obstacles/challenges you’ve had to overcome with your horse training or riding?

I had several challenges to overcome this year. One was staying with Ari when she jumps because she jumps everything 100% harder than she needs to! The second one I recently picked up and have still haven’t overcome is tipping right when going over fences.


Name one or two of your heroes in the horse world. Why did you choose this person?

I respect and look up to my trainer Paige. She always makes sure the horses are her priority, whether it’s at a show or just at home! Somehow, she can see and solve a problem before it happens/escalates. She is just the kind of person where you can walk up to her and ask to spend the night if you don’t have a place to stay, and she will always say yes.


What is your dream career?  Do you see horses in your adult life? My dream career is to make it to Grand Prix/Olympics (probably not a reality, but I will still dream about it).


See this article in the June 2021 online edition:

June 2021



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