By Rikki King Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — Graysen Stroud, 17, is a junior at Snohomish High School.
Question: Did you grow up in Snohomish?
Answer: “I did. My parents owned Stroud Ranch … Now my dad owns and operates Stroud Ranch. That’s his training facility. He’s a horse trainer. My mom is also a horse trainer. She trains at a training facility, Cascade Meadows in Monroe.”
Q: So you grew up with horses?
A: “I’ve been riding since before I remember.”
Q: Do you do Western or English riding?
A: “It’s like track. I show horses. For me, when I’m riding Western, I work on my form and we do patterns … English is judged on your form and you do patterns, but you don’t jump. I’m not a jumper.”
Q: What events do you compete in?
A: “It’s called the all-around events. In the all-around events, I do Western horsemanship, English equitation, I do showmanship … and I do reining. I have shown mostly in those three events, and I just started to do reining competitively.”
Q: Do you ride just one horse?
A: “I have a horse with my mom that I’ve shown for seven years. He is the horse I do those three events on, and I have a horse at my dad’s I do reining on.”
Q: Do you have any other interests or hobbies?
A: “Horses take up a lot of my time. It’s something I enjoy. I don’t play any sports because horses are everything, but I like to hang out with my friends and family. I’m in Panther Pals (mentoring program) and I do Young Life (youth group) and I’m in Campaigners (Bible study).”
Q: What classes are you taking?
A: “I’m in vet science right now. I’m in DECA. I love DECA. It’s a marketing class. Those are my favorite classes. My other classes are the key junior classes I have to take.”
Q: Have you thought about college?
A: “There’s an equestrian team that a bunch of universities have. I’m attending the University of Georgia, not next year because I’ll be a senior but the following year. I’ll be going on a scholarship.”
Q: Talk more about that.
A: “The University of Georgia (equestrian team) … they ended up being the national champions for the 2013-14 season. It’s like a varsity sport. I’ll be going there, and I’ll be considered an athlete so I’ll get all the athletic benefits … I wanted to ride horses in college. Now that I get to do that, it’s really cool. I verbally committed to the University of Georgia in December.”
Q: Have you decided on a major?
A: “I’m not sure what I want to major in, but I’m thinking I’ll get my business degree because I’m not sure what I want to do yet, but I still have awhile.”
Q: Do you volunteer anywhere?
A: “I’m in Key Club. We work with the Kiwanis club. And in the WSQHYA (Washington State Quarter Horse Youth Association), we do a bunch of volunteer work in our club … I was president last year … We do a bunch of volunteer work and fundraisers, like for members who have had breast cancer.”
Q: Any big plans for this summer?
A: “I’ll be going to the YES (Youth Excellence Seminar) conference during the Youth World Cup (horse event), which is a leadership conference that the American Quarter Horse Association puts on. That’s being held concurrently with the Youth World Cup. I’m running for the Region 1 director, which is Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska and Canada for the AQHA … Also, another thing, I’m going to the AQHA World Show, and you have to qualify for that. It’s in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.”
Q: Any other hobbies or interests?
A: “I love going to school functions like soccer games and football games and basketball games.”
Q: Who is your best friend?
A: “My best friend is Jessica Remlinger. She does competitive cheer. We hang out all the time. She’s a great best friend. She’s always there for me. She’s really into her cheer. She’s one of the co-captains for the Snohomish High School cheer team.”
Q: Were your folks excited about your scholarship?
A: “Yeah, very excited. College is so expensive. Having this scholarship will make things a lot easier on us, and I also know where I’m going, so I don’t have to go through the stressful college application process.”
Q: Do you have a favorite kind of horse?
A: “I’ve only ever ridden quarter horses, so quarter horses are my favorite.”
Q: What do you like about your veterinary science class?
A: “We learn a lot about what goes on in the animals. I don’t necessarily want to be a vet, but it’s really good knowledge to have since I might want to be in the horse industry.”
Q: What are you looking forward to about senior year?
A: “I’m not sure. I guess just getting ready for college, to start a new chapter in my life. That will be really exciting.”
Q: Do you think you’ll end up back in Snohomish after college?
A: “I don’t know. It depends on what I end up doing, job-wise. There’s not a big amount of competitions and as many riders in Washington like there is in the South.”