Washington member Nicole Grous has been an active supporter of Working Equitation since it was first introduced to the Pacific Northwest ~ in fact, she hosted the first WE clinics in her state and helped bring in many of the people currently involved in the sport. She and her Lusitano gelding Zar Ris (barn name “Duggie”) finished the 2017 competition season 6th place in Regional Standings.
Nicole has owned Duggie for three years now, having imported him from Mexico. “He’s the biggest little horse I’ve ever ridden!” she exclaims, “Sweet as pie and hot as chili!”
Those who have had the privilege of watching the two of them together concur with that assessment. Nicole is a beautiful, quiet rider whose years of dressage experience come through clearly in all she does. Her turnout is always impeccable, and she and Duggie are favorites with fellow competitors, who love watching their partnership develop.
When asked what she likes about the sport, Nicole explains, “WE tests ask questions of both horse and rider–you really have to be a team to answer them well!”
Nicole is well-known for her good sportsmanship and the many ways she supports her fellow riders. In 2017, she stepped forward to make it possible for 13-year-old Tristan Cruden, a WE United member from Oregon, to participate in the WE United National Championships. Nicole generously covering the cost of his entry fee and stall so he could afford to compete. When asked about her sponsorship, Nicole was quick to explain that she had been watching Tristan and how hard he had been working for the past few years not only to improve his riding, but also volunteering at shows and selling his own home-baked treats and beverages at WE events in Oregon to help his family cover the cost of his participation in the sport. Nicole said that she wanted to make sure he had the opportunity to attend the biggest WE event of the year.
When asked if there was anyone in particular she wanted to thank for their support, Nicole was pretty staunch in her desire to thank Julie Alonzo for helping introduce her to the sport years ago as well as Nuno Matos “who taught me that you don’t have to jump an obstacle straight on!”