Lexington, Kentucky; Ocala, Florida; and Warrenton, Virginia
13-Year-Old Rider, Trainer and Teacher
How long have you been part of the horse world?
I’ve been around horses my whole life, and I was riding before I was walking. The first pony I had was an Appaloosa named Dottie. My family and I lived on a farm in Paris, Kentucky, until I was 7 years old.
What do you do in the horse world?
I am a 13-year-old horse rider and horse trainer, and I teach young kids how to ride. I show in the hunters and equitation. I also retrain and sell off-the-track Thoroughbreds so that they can have a second career after their race careers.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
It’s hard to think of one thing because I love everything about what I do, but my favorite thing about retraining and selling off-the-track Thoroughbreds is getting to hear and see how happy people are when they find their perfect match. It brings me so much joy knowing I’m helping horses find their new start and soft landing into a second career that they will have for the rest of their lives. I absolutely love getting updated on the horses we sell and seeing pictures of them with their happy owners.
What can you tell us about your involvement with racehorses and off-the-track Thoroughbreds?
My parents, Carrie and Craig Brogden, and my grandmother Sandra Fubini, own a large Thoroughbred breeding nursery named Machmer Hall. I’ve been around Thoroughbreds since the day I was born and I’ve already had four OTTBs of my own. Two of them have found their forever homes and I currently have the other two in training. I’ve worked with dozens of Thoroughbreds throughout the years, helping make them up and give them a second career that will last them a lifetime. My former trainer and now good friend and partner Caitlin Yelick and I work to re-home them through High Hoof Sales to find people and horses their perfect match.
How do you balance all of your schoolwork with all of your travel and training projects?
School gets difficult at times, but I work hard to stay on task. In order to do what I do, you have to be organized, know what’s going on and what needs to be done. Mira Korber with Blue Ribbon Scholars is a huge help and always makes sure I’m keeping track of everything. She helps me keep up with all my work and stay organized, especially during the busy show season.
What’s your proudest achievement?
I would say my proudest achievement is my pony Rugby. This might sound strange, but I’ve owned him since he was 4 when he didn’t know anything. He’s leased out now because I outgrew him. We learned everything together as a team. I was only jumping crossrails when I got him and he was barely started at the trot. We were supposed to go to Pony Finals this year, but it got canceled the day before we were going to leave. He’s the reason I love what I do and have a fighting passion for horses.
What are your goals for the future?
My future goals are to own a riding barn of my own, and to show in the Grand Prix. I love teaching kids how to ride and finding horses their forever homes, so that will always be part of my future. Secondly, I’ve always loved jumping — you can ask anyone and they will tell you that I love to jump big and that I’m a brave rider who has to ride the crazy horses! Watching the Grand Prix and knowing that I will hopefully get to show in them when I’m older brings me so much joy.
Can you tell us about a time you made an impact on someone or something?
I have a mutt named Tipton. I adopted him from a high-kill shelter in Florida. I’ve owned Tipton for two years now, and I don’t know what I’d do without him. He was supposed to be euthanized two days after we got him and he was only between 6 and 8 months old and a bag of bones. I don’t know how someone could put down a dog as kind and loving as him. Tipton does absolutely everything I want him to (besides being a bed hog). He knows lots of tricks and can jump huge! Tipton is and forever will be my heart, soul and motivation to get up every day.