The Auburn equestrian team has long held high standards for recruiting, bringing in not only talented riders, but also girls who will help cultivate championship attitudes and results. The seven new additions to the Hunt Seat roster have been instrumental in creating those attitudes, including freshman Helen Ulrich from Mooresville, N.C.
Prior to becoming a Tiger, Ulrich has placed twelfth at the Washington International Horse Show, was the Zone 3 Finals Champion in 2015, and placed first in NCHJA and SCHJA in 2015. Ulrich’s first ride as a Tiger came during Auburn’s home exhibition against Ole Miss, when she defeated opponent Shannon Hourin 82-62 on the Flat to help Auburn win 16-2.
Q: During your time at Auburn, what do you want to accomplish?
A: I want to keep a really good grade-point average by having all A’s and B’s. I know that’s really hard for some people but that would be a good goal. And really I just want to be a positive impact on the team, and that’s my main thing, and riding goals would be just to fix mistakes and to keep getting better.
Q: Who has made the biggest impact on you in your life?
A: I’m going to have to say my mom. She just does everything all the time and never complains, and always finds the positives. She’s just a really good role model.
Q: What’s your favorite place in Auburn?
A: The barn. It’s just so relaxing and I like being out there with everyone, and it’s just nice to get a break from school and everything back there.
Q: What life lessons has horseback riding taught you?
A: To be responsible, to be successful with time management, and how to stay humble. Because you can have the best trip of your life and then the next round you can walk in and eat dirt.
Q: What’s your most prized possession?
A: My grandfather had a ring made for me that was my birthstone, and when he passed away, his best friend brought it to me and I’ve had it ever since. I won’t wear it because I’m afraid something’s going to happen to it.
Q: Who’s your favorite horse to ride at Auburn?
A: Ritz, because he reminds me of my horse at home. Just the way he is on the ground and the way he rides is just like my horse, so he makes me happy because it feels like being back with mine.
Q: What is your intended major?
A: Journalism. I love to write, it’s the thing I’m good at and I really enjoy it. And I like being able to express what I’m saying. I would like to do something involving sports, maybe writing for sports. I would like to do something involving that because that’s just what interests me. But to be honest I don’t really know yet.
Q: To you, what sets Auburn apart from other teams?
A: Just because it’s so family oriented and we all put each other above ourselves every time in everything we do. And we’re all so close and so connected and it just kind of feels like family, so it’s more than just a team.
Q: What do you consider to be your greatest riding accomplishment?
A: This was three years ago, but there was a pony that was given to my barn for me to ride. It came out of a field and no one wanted it and it wasn’t the cutest thing ever. And then I started riding it and I ended up taking it to nationals and was ninth overall out of a hundred and something ponies. It was super cool because it was the top horses in the country and I had this little field horse that was not very cute, and she went to the nationals.
Q: What’s your favorite Auburn tradition?
A: The rolling of Toomer’s. I think it’s so different from what all the other schools do, so I think it’s cool tradition that everyone knows, and it’s just fun.