2016 Redbud Spectacular June 4

Quiet Riley Kopischke has a way with horses.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Sixteen-year-old Riley Kopischke with Easy To Be Fancy, Sierras Lucky Notion and Playmates Addiction (Journal photo)

When I interviewed 16-year-old Riley Kopischke, I mentally kicked myself every time I asked him a question that resulted in one-word answer from him. So I changed my strategy and started asking him "leading" questions ... questions that would require him to finish my sentence. The result? Short answers. Still.

But after talking with his parents, Jason and Missy, I found out that one-word answers are common with quiet, reserved Riley. But I also learned that Riley's quiet reserve is what makes him good with his family's horses.

"Riley starts all my colts for me and rides all of the tough ones," bragged Riley's dad, Jason, who is an AQHA Professional Horseman from Purcell, Oklahoma. "I've been around and watched a lot of guys ride a lot of horses, but I gotta tell ya, Riley can flat ride a horse. Some day, he's gonna be the real deal."

The family competes in ranch horse classes in AQHA and Stock Horse of Texas, as well as some reined cow horse. We're just kind of moving into the ranch horse thing ... I've always had a love for it, and now that it's starting to get popular, it's making sense to go that way."

So what was Riley showing at at the Redbud?

"Ranch riding, ranch reining and ranch trail," he said. "I'm showing three horses - Sierras Lucky Notion, Playmates Addiction and Easy To Be Fancy."

Sierras Lucky Notion is a 2012 gray mare by Lucky Bottom KAK and out of North To Sierra by 
Sierras Notion. Playmates Addiction is a 2011 bay mare by Leos Dueler and out of Shez Addicted To Luv by Addicting. Easy To Be Fancy is a 2008 bay mare by Easy Otie Whiz and out of Hobos Fancy Glo by Continental Hobo. 

The National Ranch Horse Riding Association sponsored a money-added ranch horse stakes the first weekend of the Redbud, which allowed Redbud Show Manager Jackie Krshka to offer AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse points in the conformation, trail and reining classes, and AQHA points in the ranch riding classes.

"I've been riding my whole life," Riley told me. "I like riding the most. My goal is to become a horse trainer. I really like when a horse challenges me and finding a way to teach them how to do what I want.

His favorite horse Sweet Dreamin Chic. "Sweetie" is a 2003 chestnut mare by Magnum Chic Dream and out of Jacs Last Valentine by Hollywood Jac 86.

Riley qualified for the 2014 and 2015 Built Ford Tough AQHYA world championship shows where he and Sweetie competed in ranch riding in 2014 and 2015 and working cow horse boxing in 2014. In 2015, he also qualified for ranch riding with Playmates Addiction and Sierras Lucky Notion.

Unfortunately, they didn't make the finals at either show, but for Riley, it's not about the ribbons.

"He really likes to come out of the pen, figure out what he did wrong, then go back and do it again to see if he can do it better," says Mom Missy Kopischke.

That means he's coming back to the Ford Youth World in August to see what he can get done in ranch riding.