Nicole ’11 has attended or participated in every Marlborough equestrian competition since she was in the sixth grade, except one when she was sick.
Nicole started riding when she was nine years old and competing during her sophomore year, when she got her own horse.
“For her third birthday party she wanted to have ponies, and from there on she has always loved horses,” said Nadia Hopper, her mother.
When applying to Marlborough in November 2004, Judy Campbell, the equestrian coach at the time, interviewed Nicole. Campbell was so impressed that she invited Nicole to attend the December Interscholastic Equestrian League (IEL) Horse Show with the Marlborough team that year.
Nicole met everyone on the team and went back for the January and April horse shows, all while she was still in the sixth grade.
“In middle school, I was like the team manager who helped [equestrian coach] Moser take pictures, record scores, bring food, and walk around and cheer everyone on,” Nicole said.
When Hopper was twelve, she suffered a bad horseback riding accident and broke her collarbone, ribs, arm and shoulder.
According to Hopper’s mother, “Nicole did not stop. She was back at the barn with her arm in bandages, brushing and cleaning the horses, and she couldn’t wait to get back on.”
Hopper started leasing a horse in her sophomore year, and rode in the IEL shows that year.
Hopper started as a novice and rode Freshman her junior year and is riding Varsity her senior year.
“Although it is sadly Nicole’s last year at Marlborough, we will all remember her and her devotion to the team,” teammate Taylor ‘13 said.
Last year, Hopper competed in the Freshman Dressage Division and won the title of “Reserve Champion.”
“Nicole is a very talented dressage rider, and the thing that stands out most about her is her dedication,” coach Alison Moser said.
Nadia Hopper does not think Nicole will ride competitively in college, but she is almost positive Nicole will continue riding for pleasure.