AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 4 seed Texas A&M equestrian team dropped an 11-8 decision to No. 1 seed and host school Auburn in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship semifinal Friday at the Auburn University Horse Center.
This is the first-ever SEC Championship for equestrian, after the conference began sponsoring the sport in the summer of 2012. The No. 4-seeded Aggies will face No. 3 seed Georgia in the consolation round, Saturday at 10 a.m. Central.
“Our riders fought hard today,” Head Coach Tana McKay said. “We had a few critical mental mistakes and came up short. We’re disappointed with the result, but we will be ready to compete against Georgia tomorrow in the consolation round.”
Equitation over fences was the first event of the meet, and Auburn emerged with a 4-1 victory. Aggie freshman Marlena Parker won her ride to earn a point for the Aggies.
A 3-2 A&M victory in horsemanship brought the meet total to 6-4 in the Tigers’ favor. Seniors Cassie Mantor, Carey Nowacek and Amanda Brightwell were dominant in the arena as they each won their rides.
Trailing by just two points, the Aggies entered equitation on the flat and earned two points when a pair of underclassmen came through for the team. Sophomore Haley Buchmiller and freshman Hannah Williams each earned wins for A&M. The two victories weren’t enough to even the score, however, and the teams moved to the final event of the day - reining - with Auburn leading 9-6.
The Tigers earned the first point in reining and needed just one more victory to take a show win and move to the championship round. Sophomore Ashley Skold tied with her opponent before junior Lindsey Bernbaum and sophomore Laura Sumrall earned wins for A&M, but it wasn’t enough as Auburn won the final matchup and ended the meet with an 11-8 victory.
The eighth-ranked and fourth-seeded Aggies will ride against No. 3 seed Georgia in the consolation round, tomorrow at 10 a.m. Live scoring for that event is available at the SEC Championship Central page and via Twitter at @AggieEquestrian.
AUBURN 11, TEXAS A&M 8
SEC Equestrian Championships
Auburn University Horse Center – Auburn, Ala.
Records: A&M (5-6, 1-5 SEC), AU (11-2, 5-2 SEC)
HUNT SEAT: AU 7, A&M 3
Equitation on the Flat: AU 3, A&M 2
Haley Buchmiller, A&M def. Christina Lin, AU 142-136
Hasbrouck Donovan (MOP), AU def. Paige Russell, A&M 156-146
Jennifer Delman, AU def. Marlena Parker, A&M 158-135
Lindsay Portela, AU def. Kelsi Shevlin, A&M 149-145
Hannah Williams, A&M def. Elizabeth Benson, AU 142-123
Equitation over Fences: AU 4, A&M, 1
Quincy Hayes, AU def. Emily Williams, A&M 142-134
Marlena Parker, A&M def. Elizabeth Benson, AU 165-163
Hasbrouck Donovan, AU def. Kori Pickett, A&M 160-154
Jennifer Waxman, AU def. Haley Buchmiller, A&M 158-50
Christina Lin (MOP), AU def. Shelby Lawson, A&M 169-143
WESTERN: A&M 5, AU 4
Horsemanship: A&M 3, AU 2
Cassie Mantor, A&M def. Katsy Leeman, AU 148-144.5
Carey Nowacek, A&M def. Stephanie Rucci, AU 146-133.5
Griffin Knight, AU def. Molli Jacobs, A&M 152-132
Amanda Brightwell, A&M def. Katie Buff, AU 148-143.5
Indy Roper (MOP), AU def. Caroline Ammons, A&M 152.5-142
Reining: AU 2, A&M 2
Stephanie Rucci, AU def. Hannah Jechow, A&M 143.5-142
Ashley Skold, A&M ties Katsy Leeman, AU 137.5-137.5
Lindsey Bernbaum, A&M def. Cheyenne Cracraft, AU 143-140.5
Laura Sumrall, A&M def. Hailey Munger, AU 140-139.5
Indy Roper (MOP), AU def. Becca Murray, A&M 142-136