Carly Hoft, freshman Hunt Seat rider on the Auburn equestrian team, is the second Hoft to become an Auburn Tiger. The freshman’s sister, Tory Hoft, was a 2016 graduate of the team and is now watching her sister make her own mark on The Plains as one of the newest faces of the 2017-18 roster.
The Raleigh, N.C., native came in with several impressive top 10 and top 5 finishes at major competitions, including placing second at the 2016 Devon Horse show in the USET, placing tenth at the Hunterdon Cup and at the North American Junior Equitation Championships in 2016, and placing seventh in the USET Finals earlier this fall.
Hoft’s hard work has already made an impact on the team and she is continuing to successfully compete outside of the team as well.
Q: What are some goals you want to achieve while you’re at Auburn?
A: Learning how to balance school and horseback riding, and do to the best of my ability at both, I would say.
Q: How has your sister been a role model to you?
A: It’s really nice to have her here. She’s a big role model to me just because she has done amazing and studied so hard and really exceled on the Flat.
Q: Who has influenced you the most in life?
A: Probably my dad because he’s always a constant encouragement – even if I think he’s annoying sometimes. Always sees the positive in everything and has supported me and gotten me to where I am today, because he loves horses just about as much as I do.
Q: What has growing up riding taught you?
A: To work hard and be humble because you can be on top of the world one minute and you can be on the bottom the next. And just to keep going, even when times get hard you have to keep going.
Q: Was it hard to balance school and riding in high school?
A: Not really. I found my last two years of high school were so good. I found a happy medium, I had a great group of friends and I was going to shows and I would come back and it was like I had never left.
Q: Is it harder now that you’re traveling to outside competitions in college?
A: It’s a little bit harder just because you have the team and school and then the other stuff that comes with your last year (in juniors), so you want to make it count. But everybody’s really helpful with it.
Q: Do you think that practicing within the team setting has helped your individual riding?
A: I think it’s nice to be able to ride different things. It helps me appreciate my horse back home more. And I miss him a lot, but it makes you such a better rider and to be able to adapt to different things, adapt to something on the course that doesn’t go your way but you still work through it. You learn how to ride through it.
Q: What is your most prized possession?
A: I don’t want to say my phone, that’s really bad, but probably my phone.
Q: Who is your favorite horse to ride at Auburn?
A: Calvin for sure, I love Calvin. He’s just so much fun and so pretty, and he’s really comfortable and sweet.
Q: What are you majoring in?
A: Right now I’m in pre-business. I don’t really know what I want to do with that, maybe something with math like accounting or finance. I’m a math person, so something along those lines.
Q: What do you think separates Auburn’s program from other programs?
A: Everyone’s family and everyone treats you like their sister. Everyone’s so nice and we are all here for each other no matter what. No matter what discipline you are, the team is here to help you become the best person and support you in every way.
Q: What’s been the most challenging part of your freshman year?
A: Probably just adjusting, being away from home, being pretty far. Just different schedule, learning the daily routine and how everything flows, but it’s good.
Q: What’s your biggest fear?
A: To wake up one morning, go to a class and realize I have a test that I didn’t study for. That’s probably it because I hate that, that scares me.