Student of the Week: Brin Brunkhorst


Alec WIllard-Herr

Brunkhorst is a participant in both the cross country and equestrian teams at La Salle.

Avery Rush, Assistant Editor

After years of moving and a constant change of scenery, junior Brin Brunkhorst plans to seek out another new destination for college.

At the young age of five Brunkhorst moved to her third state, Oregon, a place she would learn to call home and establish friendships she hopes will last a lifetime. Despite the different locations, Brunkhorst has always had a fairly normal routine that involves school, church, and horseback riding. 

“I’ve been into the horse thing since I was a baby,” Brunkhorst said. “The first thing I picked up was a horse stuffed animal.”

Growing up around horses caused Brunkhorst to grow a love not only for the sport, but for the animals themselves. For her fourth birthday, her family rented out a pony, and now Brunkhorst owns three horses herself.

Brunkhorst’s three horses, Thea, Showtime, and Red, compete in events such as racing and competitions known as dressage. Dressage is a style of riding also known as English style and it is also an Olympic sport.

Aside from being an equestrian, Brunkhorst finds enjoyment in many other outdoor activities, including skiing, kayaking, and fishing. In recent years, Brunkhorst was also able to participate in a triathlon with her mother, which consists of running, biking, and swimming.

Her interest in these activities stems from her parents’ own love for the outdoors as well as Oregon’s scenery and terrain. “I just really got into it because I feel like that’s kind of Oregonian culture, and by trying those things out I just kind of fell in love with them,” Brunkhorst said.

Apart from recreational activities, Brunkhorst is a member of the cross country team at La Salle. She is also a member of the La Salle equestrian team, which she participates in alongside her own personal horseback riding.

Academics are also something that Brunkhorst takes seriously, as she has multiple challenging classes in her course load with three AP classes and two Honors classes on her plate this year.

Brunkhorst plans to continue on the path of challenging courses in her senior year, but also hopes to try new classes that will keep her stimulated. “I want to do AP Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology,” Brunkhorst said. “I’m probably going to continue on the AP track with English, the only thing I haven’t forecasted for yet is the Religions class.”

In recent months, Brunkhorst has also taken up guitar after her grandmother gifted her one. “My grandma has this guitar that she bought like 20 years ago, and she started to learn how to play but it hurt her fingers,” Brunkhorst said. “She stopped playing and it sat for 20 years, and then I picked it up and I’ve learned a couple songs.”

Regarding La Salle’s return to in-person learning, Brunkhorst feels that choosing the hybrid model has allowed her to have more of a schedule and more socialization during her school days, despite her initial reluctance to return to campus.

“I was anxious to go to school and to see people, but at that time I had had enough of distance learning,” she said. “I was just kind of getting tired of not having a very structured schedule [in] distance learning.”

Brunkhorst’s advice to lowerclassmen is to engage with the people around you and do good in your community. “If there’s service opportunities, or a chance to stand up and talk, just do it because it builds your character,” she said.

After high school, Brunkhorst plans to venture to a place where college and dressage can exist in her life simultaneously. That destination is unknown for now, but she is sure that a college experience outside of Oregon is something she wants.

“Arizona is really warm and I just love the sunshine,” Brunkhorst said. “There’s normally more dressage because owning horses in the sunshine is way easier than in the rain.”

As for the academic part of college, Brunkhorst plans on majoring in a STEM-related subject, specifically in either biology or chemistry. Science will seemingly be part of Brunkhorst’s life for the foreseeable future, as she plans to attend dental school after earning her undergraduate degree.

“After four years of dental school and four years of residency,” Brunkhorst said, “[I] plan to become an oral surgeon.”