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Throughout the summer, will be focusing on members of the Class of 2018 who are currently in their “Sophomore Summers.”

Claire Bick just wrapped up her second season on the Dartmouth equestrian team in 2015-16. A native of Polson, Montana, she came to Hanover with an exceptional background in academics (National Honor Society member, student council vice president and class valedictorian) and an unusual background in horses (grew up on a cattle ranch).

What have you been doing on your sophomore summer?
Over my sophomore summer I have been taking classes and enjoying the Upper Valley in the summertime through lots of hiking, swimming, riding (huge surprise right?) and time spent outside.

You come to Hanover from a town in the northwestern part of Montana, what made you pick Dartmouth?
Honestly I was skeptical about Dartmouth until my campus visit. Something about the culture surrounding campus made me fall in love with it as soon as I got here. Coming from such a small town, I also find the quaintness of Hanover to be comforting, even though it is so far away from home. 

What was it like growing up on a cattle ranch?
I loved growing up on my family's ranch. I am very active so growing up there gave me a lot of space to get outside and explore. It also gave me such a unique experience and strong work ethic that I have really grown to appreciate since starting college. 

How is riding horses on a ranch different than riding for shows at the level you do here?
The biggest difference between the riding I do here for Dartmouth and the competition I did in high school is definitely horse draw system you encounter in collegiate riding. At home I have my horse that I've spent years building a partnership with. In college, you ride a new horse each time you compete, so you have to quickly adapt every single day instead of knowing exactly what to expect each time you get on for a ride.  

How many horses do you have at home and how many of them do you consider to be “yours"?
My family has six horses at home, three of which I consider "mine." One is my childhood pony who is retired out to pasture on our ranch now, and the other two (Tosca and Rachel) I rode in high school in the jumper ring. 

As a follow up to that, do you have one that is your favorite (Don’t worry, we won’t tell them who the favorite is…)?
As hard as it is to pick a favorite I would have to say my horse Rachel because she has undoubtedly helped me grow the most as a rider.

What’s your favorite place on campus that may not be on a tour of the college?
I have a running loop that winds through campus, goes around Occom Pond, and ends at the river that I love. I find it so peaceful, scenic, and a great way to clear my head.

What Smidge like as a teammate?
Smidge always manages to brighten my day. She has so much personality and her love for Staci is unmatched. 

If you could trade places with any of your teammates, who would it be and why?
I am torn between saying Smidge (that dog seriously has such a wonderful life--she sleeps all the time and everyone loves her) and Erin McCarthy-Keeler. Erin is from Alaska and from what I can see her summer has been AMAZING back home.