Bill Trento and Michael Wakefield started Three Hats Training Center in 2009 in Klamath Falls, Oregon. It has been a long and rewarding process, but now it is up and running to full capacity. We have been approved by The Carriage Association Of America as an Evaluation Center. That means we have on site equipment for single, pair, tandem, and 4-in-hand as well as suitable horses and vehicles.
At this time, there are only two centers in the US and Three Hats is the only one on the West Coast. Both gentlemen studied in England at Swingletree Farm with John Parker and Susan Townsend. John Parker wrote the syllabi for the levels in the CAA Evaluation Program based on The British Driving Society’s program.
Together, Bill and Michael make a formidable team with over 70 years of combined experience with driving horses of many breeds and disciplines.
Michael was raised on a farm in SE Minnesota that was tractorless. That is, it was entirely run on draft horse power. He has driven two horse corn planters (wire check), three horse cultivators, five horse grain binders, haying equipment of every description, and of course, wagons in every imaginable hitch arrangement.
In 1976 he became interested in carriage driving and the education began. He has competed in fine harness, pleasure, CDE, log skids, and drives the stagecoach for Wells Fargo Bank in their Stagecoach Appearance Program, appearing in parades and rodeos all over the Northwestern US.
Michael has achieved Level III and CAA Master Driver certification.
Bill Trento had a childhood enriched with horses. He came to carriage driving in 2008 and has set a path of education which has led him to England, and Florida. Bill is a consummate horseman with a gentle and sane approach that the animals respond to readily.
He has been the chief ground man on the stagecoach team since 2008, keeping the team parade ready and safe during exhibits. Together with Michael, they have trained horses and drivers at this facility since 2009.
His teaching approach is non-threatening and you might say casual (no pretense). He has a sound base of knowledge and an easy manner of presentation. He is always full of questions, his nose in a book, and quick to apply new knowledge.
Bill is a CAA certified driver and instructor, having passed his Level I and II in England in 2015, and Instructor Level I in Florida last year.