Laurel Vaught Spotlight
- Sydney Windhorst
- Tuesday, January 25th, 2022
Our Mahurin Honors College (MHC) Scholars, while all exceptional academics ascending towards excellence, represent a vast array of talents and interests. One of our newest scholars, Laurel Vaught (MHC ‘25), is a member of the WKU Equestrian Team.
Laurel has been riding horses since second grade and competing since seventh. After working with horses for over a decade, she knew she wanted to continue her passion in her collegiate career. When touring WKU, she was introduced to the program and instantly fell in love.
“I have new chances and resources to improve my riding,” Laurel remarked after arriving to WKU and joining the collegiate team. “I feel like I have more opportunities to make myself better, to focus on developing my passion, and to grow by befriending new teammates.”
Laurel competes on the Western and English team, both under the umbrella of WKU Sports. In the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, each competitor is assigned a random horse, which means she could be riding a WKU horse, a Vanderbilt horse, or any other school’s horse at the competition. Riding a horse is not easy to begin with, but it is an extremely difficult task to ride a horse that she may have never even seen before the competition. However, her endurance and commitment this season won her first place in the Equestrian competition at the end of October.
So how does Laurel connect her love of horses to her academics? Laurel explains riding has taught her responsibility. It is her duty to care for, clean, and check on the horses. If she wishes to continue excelling at riding, she must cherish and attend to her animals. Riding has also provided avenues for her to serve as a leader. In her high school career, Laurel patiently worked with the younger riders to teach Equestrian care and barn management. These experiences have instilled her with the confidence to continue mentoring others.
As a new scholar in the MHC, Laurel is looking forward to the opportunities that are ahead of her.
“The MHC has made me want to challenge the reach of my college education. I now want to truly make the most of it. I know that I want to do a thesis and find the right study abroad experience. So, I think the MHC just helped me to expand my horizons and motivated me to seize every moment.”
We are so proud of Laurel’s already numerous accomplishments and are eager to watch her career (both in the saddle and in the classroom) continue to grow.