In just nine years, Brian Moggre has gone from competing in the 0.85m jumpers at local shows on his black Icelandic horse, to dominating the junior rider world in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings. Although he has progressed quickly, the 16-year-old is quick to credit his parents, trainers, and horses for the goals he’s achieved so far in his career.
Based at MTM Farm with Mike McCormick and Tracey Fenney, the young Texan is a force to be reckoned with on circuits around the country. Moggre, of Flower Mound in North Texas, has a long list of top results on his resume, including victory in the 2016 Zone 4 Maclay Regionals, top ten placings at the 2016 ASPCA Maclay Final and the WIHS Equitation Finals, 1st place in the 2016 $250,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Prix at HITS Saugerties, and team gold at the 2017 North American Junior Young Rider Championships—the list goes on.
Even though Moggre just received his driver’s license, he describes himself as a true, professional horseman with years of experience under his belt. With big plans for the future, we sat down with Moggre to learn about his unconventional start in riding, his proven formula for how he sets goals, and how it feels to be a top contender going into the indoor season this fall.
Noelle Floyd: You see most junior riders go from the pony hunters, to the equitation and jumpers. How have your roots in the jumpers given you an edge over your competitors in the hunters and equitation?
Brian Moggre: What got my attention in the equitation was that I knew it would benefit my riding. I want to ride professionally, and want to make a career out of it. Just looking at previous riders such as Mclain Ward and Kent Farrington, they’ve both had such success in the equitation. For me to be the best I can possibly be, it was the right decision to make. I wanted to be more disciplined and learn a different style of riding, so I’m not just relying on one thing. The equitation helps me in the jumpers quite a lot. It taught me how to execute a plan and how to really nail a course. When you walk a course and say a line could be X or Y, being able to execute your plan as smoothly as possible and make it most beneficial for you and your horse is key.
NF: How has your riding developed since you began training with Tracey Fenney and Mike McCormick at MTM Farm?
BM: I bought my first horse from Mike and Tracey in 2012 and that’s when they started helping me. I rode with a different trainer, Gianna Aycock, before making the switch. Mike and Tracey helped me with my horses and wanted their horses going well to look good for the brand, so they’ve helped me for many years. In January of 2016, I went full swing with Mike and Tracey—they’ve done wonders for my riding and I’m extremely appreciative for that. Staying on a consistent program and riding eight to twelve horses a day, has developed my riding tremendously. I do online school, so I’m at the barn all the time. Mike and Tracey are the bomb.
NF: Last year—as a rookie—you had top ten placings at the Maclay Championship and WIHS Equitation Finals. How will you approach equitation finals this year as a top contender?
BM: This year I will be competing at the Medal, Maclay, and Washington Finals. The plan is to go in and give it my all! Last year I wasn’t sure of what to expect. The Medal Final was the first big final, and I’d say I was a bit unsure and conservative. As the Finals went on, I got more confident and more comfortable. This year, I’m going to give it my all and hope it works out for the best. I’m going in with a good mindset and will be confident, but humble—you can never expect too much because you never know what the course will look like, how you’re going to be that week, or how things will play out. I’m going to go in, trust my horse and really hope it works out for me.
NF: You’re a big believer in setting goals. How do you decide what to set your sights on?
BM: When I set goals, they usually start out as a big disaster. Everything I want to do, I throw into a big pile, whether it’s short-term or long-term, far-fetched or realistic, that’s where I start my list. Then I break that list down into smaller and more realistic goals and what I want to accomplish this year. Saying I want to compete at the Olympics—that would be a long-term goal, and is not something I’m driven to do this year. This year, one of my goals is to ribbon in every equitation final I do—that would be a more short-term goal that I’m really working hard on to achieve. I break my goals into timely and realistic. I’m a big believer in lists—whenever I start my day, I make a list of everything I need to do it helps me to stay organized.
NF: Speaking of goals, what goals have you accomplished this year?
BM: I jumped my first grand prix last August. This year I’m more consistently doing the bigger grands prix. It’s a bit nerve-wrecking, but I love it. There’s nothing in this world that gives me the same feeling as I do whenever I jump a big course. It’s just so surreal and I could never imagine myself doing anything different, it’s so amazing. This winter, I hope to compete in the Under-25 series. That would be big goal of mine, to do well in that. I’m hoping to get into the Under-25 Championship at the National in Kentucky—that would be something I’d hope to do well in and get a feel for.
I really just want to keep stepping up. I feel very confident in all my horses right now, they all feel really good, and I am excited to see where it will take me. In the future, I want to compete on the Nations Cup teams, and compete in the Olympics—everything every rider wants to do. I want to make a career out of this and maybe have some clients once I develop professionally. I love this sport so much and I’m thankful to have so much support from my parents, Gianna Aycock, and Mike and Tracey. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.