From Dothan, Ala., freshman Terri-June Granger joined the Auburn equestrian team as a new asset to the reining crew with multiple titles to her name. The 2015 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) World Champion and 2015 Reserve Congress Champion won her first point for the Tigers vs. UT-Martin, 73-69.5. Granger also recently won the NRHA Reining Futurity Level 2 Congress on her horse Mowgli, and her composure in competition and hard work in practice has made her an added strength to Auburn’s talented roster.
Q: What are some goals you want to achieve while at Auburn?
A: Academically, I definitely would like to graduate with good grades. I want to go to chiropractic school so a high grade-point average is a must for me, so that’s really important. And I feel like with all the help from athletics, I think it’ll be easy – not easy to do but definitely able to do. Athletically, I just want to make sure I’m a help to the team in winning SECs and nationals. Whatever it takes, whether that’s me riding or helping my teammates, I want to be a support and make sure I’m a benefit to the team.
Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?
A: Everyone in my family has been an influence to me in different ways. My dad has, my mom has, and all my siblings have. My dad was always ‘try your hardest and give it 100 percent.’ My mom’s influence was always ‘finish what you start,’ but she also always gave us the opportunity to try different things. My brothers – they’ve all been successful, all played college sports, and they always were able to keep their grades up while doing it. They all worked really hard. That’s all been a big encouragement to me.
Q: What are some things that riding has taught you?
A: You have to put the time in. It’s a lot of hard work but it is definitely worth it. It does show that all the hard work does pay off whenever you do win. But definitely put in time and work to be successful.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure food?
A: Anything chocolate. I am obsessed with chocolate. I’m really good at eating healthy but whenever it comes to chocolate that’s what I want.
Q: What are your biggest pet peeves?
A: Being late and being unorganized. I hate being late, I don’t like whenever you show up and it’s like you feel lost. I want to be on time and know where everything is going on, and I like staying organized because it keeps everything going smoothly and keeps you on track.
Q: Who is your favorite horse to ride at the horse center?
A: Probably Findley. He’s definitely not the most talented horse we have here, but he’s easy to get along with and he tries. I like that because you don’t have to get on a horse that you’re trying to fight with. It’s just giving the right cues and being there for him, being his support system, and he’ll try his hardest.
Q: What is your intended major and why did you choose it?
A: I’m going into exercise science and then I want to go to chiropractic school. I kind of have a medically-based family - my dad was a doctor, my older brother is in med school, and I have a brother here that’s in pre-med. I’m trying to keep up with them a little bit in the medical direction, but I’m not going to med school. I’d also like to go into a fellowship to become an equine chiropractor.
Q: Why did you choose Auburn?
A: Auburn is close to home. I have grown up going to Auburn games, my mom graduated from Auburn – she was a majorette – and I have a brother at Auburn. So I was familiar with Auburn. I did try to be open-minded and go visit other places, but nothing felt as comfortable as Auburn did. Everyone is so friendly and it felt like home.
Q: What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?
A: I would say getting two world titles back-to-back on the same horse. That was really exciting for me. I was planning on going for it with the first one and we planned ahead to go for it. When I started competing at the beginning of the show season the second year, I wasn’t really going for it. But I was really successful at the beginning of the year, and after I noticed I was leading for another world title, I decided go for it. It was really special to me that my same horse was that consistent throughout two full years of riding that hard. That was really exciting because that horse that I did it on – she’s a really special horse to me.
Q: What was your first collegiate ride like?
A: I don’t usually get nervous going into show pens – at UTM I was nervous. When I walked in the show pen, I felt like my nerves went away. However, leading up to it I was very nervous just because I’m trying to be there for other people and I do want to help the team. So, I definitely was nervous my first time going in and I’ll probably be nervous every other time I go in the show pen. But once I’m in and riding, I’m really focused and the nerves go away.