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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Like mother, like daughter

Grace+Bentien+is+a+senior+equestrian+team+rider+from+Auburn%2C+California.
Photo by via Grace Bentien’s Instagram Page

Grace Bentien is a senior equestrian team rider from Auburn, California.

Though initially she was afraid to follow her mother’s footsteps, at 10 years old senior Grace Bentien fell in love with riding horses and her life changed completely.
“I was raised riding horses and was terrified of it, but my mom did not give up on me,” Bentien said.
Bentien said her mother, Sandy Bentien, began riding horses and competed in a variety of events when she was five years old. When Bentien finally showed interest in the sport, she and her mother immediately went to work.
“We traveled all over the country for horse shows,” Bentien said. “I actually was homeschooled and did independent study leading up to my college career because we traveled so much. I grew up in California and did many shows there, but I have also been to Oregon, Idaho, Texas and Oklahoma.”
Bentien said some of her most cherished memories were with her mother. Because they traveled so much, she said their long drives together allowed them to bond while being involved in the sport they love.
Bentien was named Rookie Level 1 and 2 Reining by the Bay Champion and became Reserve Champion at the 2016 WCRHA Best in the West in No Pro Derby Level 1. She also earned Champion High Point honor in Ranch Riding and Reining at the 2015 PCQHA.
During Bentien’s sophomore year of high school, Courtney Yohey, former member of the A&M equestrian team, encouraged her to consider furthering her athletic career in college. Bentien said the second she learned about what college had to offer for equestrians was the second she knew that she wanted to be a part of it.
Bentien eventually attended a camp at A&M and it was there that she met A&M coach Tana McKay. Bentien said she instantly knew she wanted to be an Aggie. In 2017, Bentien officially joined the equestrian team alongside Yohey as a first-generation college student.
During the 2018-2019 season, Bentien made an appearance in a reining exhibition ride against Fresno State as a sophomore. Last season, she was named to the APHA and SEC Winter Academic Honor roll as a junior.
Now a senior, Bentien’s experiences of traveling all over the country have influenced her plans after graduation.
“I will graduate with a communication major with my specialty in social media marketing,” Bentien said. “I love creating and producing content and coming up with strategy. Ideally, I would like to have my own business running media consultations and video and podcast production which is a long-term goal. I want to be able to work remotely and freelance. I am planning on getting a van and renovating it to travel across America while I work. I love to travel.”
Bentien is also strong in her faith and currently uses her passion to produce her own Christian women’s bible study podcast called ‘Grace Talks,’ which can be found on Spotify.
“We raised her in a Christian home, but as an adult she has chosen to get deeper in her commitment in her faith,” Sandy said. “When she was home during this COVID-19 outbreak, she was constantly studying the Bible and doing multiple Bible studies. She blossomed, and after hearing the first podcast she made, I couldn’t believe it, like this is my daughter. It has been wonderful to share her podcast on social media and give people, especially young women, something positive that has a deeper meaning. I am just so proud of what she is doing.”
Bentien said throughout her life, she was raised with the mentality to not doubt her passions and goals, but instead work hard in figuring out how to accomplish them.
“If there is something you want bad enough, there is nothing that can stand in your way of getting there,” said Bentien.

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