General of the Week: Lauren Fredericks, ’20

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Tanner Smith, Sports Writer

Prior to finishing fourth at the ODAC championship on March 30, the W&L riding team competed in the regional finals at the University of Virginia on March 25. The top two riders from each class in the region would move on to the Zone Finals, and the Generals had one of their own achieve that honor. Lauren Fredericks, ‘20, was able to qualify after winning the walk-trot at the regional competition. The Phi heard from Fredericks leading up to Zones about her love of riding and of horses.

Ring-tum Phi: What inspired your love of horses?

Lauren Fredericks, ‘20: I started riding when I was eight. I rode with a saddle maybe two times and then the woman who was teaching me said, “All right, that is enough of that” and threw me on bareback. I have been riding bareback for 12 years now so when I came to college I knew I wanted to keep riding because it was a huge part of my life and I knew that I could do it and hang out with people who loved horses as well.

Phi: What is your favorite part of riding?

LF: My favorite part of riding is being around the horses because they are my favorite animals and it is very therapeutic to go out there and spend some time with the animals. All of the horses at the barn are really sweet and awesome so the best part is definitely just being with the horses.

Phi: Do you have a favorite horse?

LF: Yes. His name is Nick, but I always call him Nicholas because it sounds funnier to call a horse Nicholas. He is super adorable and he is scared of everything. I fell in love with him right away.

Phi: What factors allowed you to win the walk-trot?

LF: Honestly I went out there and once I was done I thought I had lost. But I always love riding at UVA because the horses are a little more energetic, which is always fun. Back at home I was always riding horses that were trying to throw me off so I am a little more used to horses with a little bit more energy.  I got a horse and he and I really clicked right away and felt connected, so that made it fun.

Phi: Do you have any superstitions or rituals?

LF: I get really intense about knocking on wood if someone tries to jinx something. If I am watching my friend ride and someone says that they are going to win I scream at them until they knock on wood. There is also a song called “I Lived” by OneRepublic that is probably my favorite song. I drove across the country to get here for the first time and I made a video afterwards of my travels and the background for that was “I Lived” so the song makes me really happy. Sometimes when I am feeling super nervous, I’ll listen to the song.

Phi: What are you most interested in outside of riding?

LF: Anything to do with exploring. I am really excited to study abroad next semester in Lebanon. I love anything to do with travel or hiking. I really love exploring MacAfee’s Knob or other hikes like that. I also really like learning other languages, which connects with the whole exploring thing. I am taking an Arabic class, which is something that I try to focus a lot of my time on.

Phi: If you could do anything or wish anything to be true what would it be?

LF: Right now, my go-to eyelash wish is to be fluent in Arabic because I have been working on it since I got to W&L and I have definitely come a long way, but it would be super nice to wake up one day and be fluent.