by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Soul of Photography

Love of a Lifetime

student_walz3If you are looking for Victoria Walz, you will most likely find her at school, in the show ring, or around the stable. The Rancho Santa Fe resident keeps her schedule full with academic responsibilities balanced by plenty of time training for equestrian events. A senior this year, Victoria appreciates the Grauer School’s “environment that balances the challenge of required curriculum education while still permitting the pursuit of individual discovery and goals.”

For Victoria, those individual goals are focused on saddle seat competitions. She has been competing since she was eight years old, but her love for horses started much earlier. “When I was a toddler, my dad would set me in the saddle and there I would stay until I fell asleep.”
2016 was a full show season for Victoria, traveling across the West and Midwest for competitions. She has been splitting her time between four different show barns and acknowledged it was busy but also the “greatest and most fun experience.” The people she meets through showing are her greatest inspiration. “I respect their hard work as we all go head to head in the ring, propelling each other forward as we strive to be our best but also value the friendships we have with each other.”

Name: Victoria Walz
School: The Grauer School
Family: Parents – Minerva and Roberto; Siblings – Celeste, RJ, and Eric
Hobbies: Horseback riding, art, reading, traveling
Favorite Places in Rancho Santa Fe: Rancho Santa Fe Riding Club, Thyme in the Ranch

That push from her fellow competitors and her own commitment are paying off. Victoria has been selected as a member of the 2017 United States Equestrian Federation’s Saddle Seat Young Riders Team. “I will be representing the United States in a competition in April 2017 in Perry, GA,” she shared.


“When I was a toddler, my dad would set me in the saddle and there I would stay until I fell asleep.”

But it’s not just traveling for horse shows. Victoria has travelled the world, including Europe, South Africa, and Mexico. “My most recent interesting trips have been to Cuba, Japan, and Machu Picchu,” she said.

Back at home, Victoria appreciates the trail network around Rancho Santa Fe where she enjoys trail riding her retired show horse, Simon. Her other hobbies include reading, yoga, and walking her dogs. Victoria and her mother are also members of the National Charity League, the mother-daughter group that volunteers at a variety of non-profit organizations.

Victoria is looking ahead to college in the near future. “The majority of schools I am looking at are on the West Coast,” she said. “I want to be close to home but far enough away that I also learn to be independent.”