Horses a life-long driving force for Langley entrepreneur

This year is all about developing horses for rider Brian Morton.

At only 30, he has made the difficult transition from amateur to successful professional. He runs his business, Equimark, with Canada’s chef d’équipe (team coach) Mark Laskin.

Emily Penn: Where did you get your start with riding?

Brian Morton: I got my start in riding at Maynard’s Pony Meadows in Vancouver. I did a week-long riding camp in the spring of 1992, when I was six years old and that was it! Riding has been the driving force in my life, ever since.

EP: What has had the biggest influence on your career?

BM: My career has been influenced by a lot of different factors. However, the people who I’ve worked with, and the horses who I’ve had the opportunity to ride and learn from, have shaped me the most.

My parents were wonderfully supportive and did whatever they could to accommodate my riding career, including encouraging me to be a professional, and work with horses and riders as a career.

EP: What are your competition plans for 2017?

BM: 2017 is going to be a bit of a different year for me competitively. I had some bad luck in late 2016 with a few injuries to horses in the top of my string. With that in mind for 2017, I’m really concentrating on developing horses, teaching and bringing our students to the top of their game. I’m hoping that our business can be well represented in young rider nations cups and NAYRC.

EP: Can you tell me a bit about your horse(s)?

BM: I have Atlantis T who’s been my top horse the last two years and who I’ve had the opportunity to represent Canada on. He’s a top-quality grand prix horse who always tries to jump a clean round. He had a big year in 2016, so in 2017 it’s going to be a bit of a quiet year for him. He’s still the horse for my future, and I’m counting down the days until him and I can be jumping clean rounds and 1.60M GPs at Tbird! I also have an eight-year-old mare named Lizabeth. I’m really excited for her future. She wasn’t the easiest as a young horse, however, I’m very confident in our partnership, and I’m excited for her future as an FEI competitor.

EP: What is your favourite part of being a competitive rider?

BM: Being a competitive rider has really become an identity for me. I love everything about it, so it’s hard to pick one quality that stands out amongst the rest. If I had to pick one thing, I would say the feeling of sitting on a top competitive horse, winding up to go to the first jump in the jump-off knowing that winning the class is within reach.

– Emily Penn is press officer for Thunderbird Show Park

See related stories:

• Langley’s darling set to compete on home turf

• International event brings top equine to compete in Langley

• Langley Tbird spectators: What to watch for at the show

• New base material keeps Langley show rings dry

• Langley Tbird: Reflections of then to now

• Thunderbird events in Langley are designed as a family affair

• In advance: Langley Tbird prepares for thousands

• Global teams vie for a win at Thunderbird in Langley

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