A child prodigy conquers the Soers
Victory in the Mercedes-Benz Nationsʼ Cup, second place in the Rolex Grand Prix: At the tender age of just 20, the darling of the public, Brian Moggre (USA), expe rienced a week at the Aachen Soers that he will never forget as long as he lives.
Sunday afternoon. You can hear a pin drop. You can cut the atmosphere in the Main Stadium in Aachen with a knife. The spectators are watching mesmerised how the last rider seems to be mastering the course in the jump-off of the Rolex Grand Prix with ease. The last fence. Mission accomplished! The crowd cheers ecstatically. Standing ovations. Still cantering, the rider hugs his horse’s neck in gratitude. The time doesn’t suffice for the victory. But that doesn’t matter. The rider is totally beside himself with joy, the spectators break out in thunderous applause. They celebrate the US American show-jumper, Brian Moggre. They celebrate him as if he is the winner. Celebrated for taking second place in the Rolex Grand Prix. At the tender age of just 20.
“There are no words that could describe my feelings,” the youngster from Texas says trying to convey his emotions. “It is so fantastic. I couldn’t have wished for a better first time here in Aachen.” How could he? Namely, previous to that he had won the Mercedes-Benz Nations’ Cup together with Lucy Deslauriers, Jessica Springsteen and his trainer Laura Kraut. It was the first time since 2005 that a team from the USA claimed the victory. That is of course “fantastic” for Brian Moggre! Especially since he put in two immaculate clear rounds on that floodlit evening. “I cried for joy, when I came out of the ring. Winning here in Aachen, together with my trainer and two of my best ever friends – what could be better?”
Carefree, openhearted and always cheerful, over the days of the show Brian Moggre enchanted people. He impressed everyone – but probably himself most of all. After all, he is at the very start of his career. A career that he had dreamt of as a child and which he has put in front of everything else from a very early stage. He can’t remember learning to ride. But he does remember the stories his parents told him about it. Apparently, aged three onwards he didn’t give up until he was finally allowed to ride a pony. “At the local riding stables, one actually wasn’t allowed to take lessons under the age of five,” he said and added with a laugh: “So, I was simply five years old for three years.”
He sets himself goals early on, does everything in his power to improve constantly. And he is successful. So much successful that he is quickly celebrated as a child prodigy in his home country. On his 18th birthday he decides to start riding professionally and founds a limited company. “That was definitely a big change in my life. After all, as a young rider one doesn’t know how to run a company and keep one’s head above water,” he reminisces. Luckily, he has a fantastic team around him – including Laura Kraut and Nick Skelton, who took him under their wing and showed him a few tricks of the trade.
Whether he is nervous to be suddenly competing among the ranks of the top players? “Sure, I am nervous. Very much so indeed,” he admits. “But if you’re not, you’re not taking your cause seriously.” His rituals lend him confidence – and these even include the clothes he wears. “I have a specific shirt for the qualifier and one for the Grand Prix.” And naturally his experienced sporting partner, Balou du Reventon, who helps him make even the most difficult tasks look like they are child’s play. Successful for a long time under the Irish rider, Darragh Kenny, his owner Ann Thompson gave Brian Moggre her horse to ride last year. He says it was “great fun” getting to know the stallion. “I would never have dreamt that I would be allowed to ride him one day. He is simply the best horse in my life,” says Brian Moggre – and then has to laugh himself. “Ok, he is the best horse that I have encountered in my short life so far.”
Brian Moggre loves what he does. And he projects this too. Anyone, who has the pleasure of meeting him, will get to know a likeable, young man who radiates pure euphoria and enthusiasm. A young man, who remains modest, constantly endeavouring to further perfect his trade. And this is precisely why he will continue to conquer the hearts of the public all over the globe. Like he did at the CHIO Aachen.