Junior Feature: Anna Becker
Junior Anna Becker

Nov. 3, 2011

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by: Anthony Alfano, Auburn media relations

Assimilating to the independence of college life has been easy for Anna Becker. When she was both a senior in high school and a worker in a barn in Ocala, Fla., she lived on her own, away from her family. While in Florida, she graduated high school in completing the online UNL Independent Study Home School Program.

"I went to a Catholic High School for my first three years, but I was missing a lot of class for shows," Becker said. "When I moved to Ocala, Fla., a lot of the girls did the home school program, so I decided to do it too."

For Becker, riding horses runs in the family. Her mother, Julie, rode and coached at Pace University in New York. She passed down her knowledge of the sport to her two daughters, Anna and her sister, Caroline.

"My sister and I both ride and my mom has always had us on a horse," Becker said. "She was always helping us and letting us go to whatever shows we wanted to attend."

Growing up in Branchville, N.J., was a lot different than what many people would expect. Becker grew up in a rural part of town away from the city that featured farm life, cow farmers and hosted rodeo events.

Upon arriving at Auburn, there were noticeable differences, but even after living in Florida for a year, she still was getting used to the South.  

"Everyone drives so slowly here, compared to New Jersey drivers who are known to be reckless," Becker said. "People are a lot nicer here though; I don't feel as if I'm getting judged all the time."

Every member of a collegiate equestrian team experiences the changes in adapting to a team in establishing an equestrian career. Being part of a team was a concept that Becker was not familiar with, but quickly adapted.

"Before college when you ride, you're just riding for yourself," Becker said. "When you come to Auburn you are riding and cheering for your teammates because they are helping you win."

The team concept is challenging for incoming riders because of the solo aspect of the sport. Now that Becker is older, she is helping her younger teammates in making that transition.  

"In the beginning, one of my biggest issues was that I would get nervous knowing everyone else was relying on me to win my point," Becker said. "I tell the younger girls now that you just have to go out there and do the best that you can, because that's all you can do."

That kind of mindset has helped Becker to a successful start to this season. She is striving to maintain success in helping her team win yet another overall national championship and her team-first mentality has gained her respect amongst her teammates.

"She is a good teammate because she is very motivating and has a positive attitude," teammate and friend Coryn Bergenty said. "She always puts the team before herself without any hesitation."