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2020 Graduate: Ashley Gray



Ashley Gray – Montverde, Florida

WHAT HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE ARE YOU GRADUATING FROM?
I will be graduating from Montverde Academy, located in Montverde, Florida.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOLLOWING GRADUATION?
In late August of 2020, I will be starting my freshman year in college at Florida International University located in Miami, Florida.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN INVOLVED IN THE TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE INDUSTRY AND/OR HOW ARE YOU RELATED TO THE INDUSTRY?
I have been involved in the Tennessee Walking Horses industry before I could even walk. My dad, Darren Gray, is the one who introduced me to this industry at a very young age. 

DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE HORSES IN TRAINING AND IF SO, WHO ARE THEY AND WHO IS YOUR TRAINER?
I currently have two horses in training with Carrie Martin, He’s Black Pepper and Lady James. My family and I have been working with Carrie since the beginning. She’s amazing and I’ve learned so much from her.

TELL US ABOUT A SPECIAL HORSE RELATED MEMORY WHETHER IN THE RING, ON THE TRAIL OR AT THE BARN?
My fondest memory would be when I won my very first world grand championship on Etta James By TJB. It was an out of body experience that I am so grateful for and I have Kathy Zeis and Carrie Martin to thank for that.

HOW HAVE HORSES HELPED YOU PREPARE FOR YOUR FUTURE?
Being around horses for 18 years has helped me grow into the person I am today. They have not only taught me discipline but given me the drive to set personal goals and accomplishments for myself. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PASS ALONG TO FELLOW SENIORS DURING THIS TIME?
If I could give any advice to other seniors it would be to keep pushing forward. Senior year may be over in a way we could have never imagined, however, that doesn’t mean we don’t have the special memories from freshman year that got us to our senior year. Every experience was a gift and we should continue to look forward to what the future holds for us and push ourselves to not give up in hard times. 

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