AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 10 Texas A&M equestrian team dropped a 10-8 decision at No. 3 Auburn, Saturday at the Auburn University Horse Center despite the Aggies outscoring the Tigers in the raw score, 1414.5-1322.5.
Texas A&M falls to 2-6 on the season and 1-4 in Southeastern Conference competition, though the four SEC losses were by just a combined five points. Freshman Rachel Lucht [pronounced LIST] and junior Haley Buchmiller garnered Most Outstanding Player accolades in horsemanship and equitation on the flat, respectively.
“We had a rough start to the day, but I was really proud of how our team fought to get us back in the competition,” Head Coach Tana McKay said. “Rachel and Haley were really dominant in their rides and deserved the MOP awards. We’re anxious to get back to practice in our new facility so that we can be ready for South Carolina next weekend.”
The Tigers jumped out to an early 5-0 edge over the Aggies in equitation over fences. Sophomores Marlena Parker and Kimmy Saul narrowly missed victories, losing by a combined four points. In exhibition, Aggie freshman Haley Webster defeated Piper Donnelly, 83-78.
Texas A&M would pull much closer to Auburn in horsemanship, winning the event 4-1. Lucht, the horsemanship MOP bested Stephanie Rucci, 76.5-73, with the highest western score of the day. Junior Molli Jacobs, senior Caroline Ammons and sophomore Logan Pluhar also contributed to the Aggies cause, winning each of their matchups in horsemanship. Alyssa Soechting, a junior, held on to an exhibition victory while sophomore Caroline Day earned a draw in her exhibition contest.
Tension mounted in reining as the Aggies and Tigers battled to a 2-2 draw, pushing the overall score to 8-6. Senior Lindsey Bernbaum ousted Griffin Knight, 65-63.5, and junior Laura Sumrall defeated Julianna Cook, 68.5-0, for A&M’s two victories. Texas A&M also claimed the exhibition event as sophomore Hannah Jechow won over Hailey Munger, 68-67.5.
Needing to win three of the five final contests in equitation on the flat to secure a victory, A&M claimed only two points, despite Buchmiller’s MOP performance. The junior from Bartlett, Ill., downed Tory Hoft, 74-60 for one of the Aggies’ victories. Avery Farley, a freshman, earned a win over Elizabeth Benson, 61-0, narrowing A&M’s deficit. Parker, the Aggies’ highest-scoring fences rider of the day, battled to a draw with Stiegler, 69-69, while sophomore Hannah Williams suffered a one point defeat, 74-73, to give the Tigers the victory. In exhibition, sophomore Megan Phillips defeated Ashley Foster, 74-70.
The A&M equestrian team will be in action again on Saturday, Feb. 22, as it travels to South Carolina to take on the top-ranked Gamecocks. To learn more about the team, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieEquestrian on Twitter.
No. 10 Texas A&M (8) at No. 3 Auburn (10)
Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
Auburn, Ala. – Auburn University Horse Center
Hunter Seat – AU 7, A&M 2
Equitation Over Fences – AU 5, A&M 0
Ex: Ashley Foster, AU def. Shelby Lawson, A&M, 78-65
Ex: Haley Webster, A&M def. Piper Donnelly, AU, 83-78
Christina Lin, AU def. Hannah Williams, A&M, 88-77
Demi Stiegler, AU def. Marlena Parker, A&M, 81-80
Elizabeth Benson, AU def. Kimmy Saul, A&M, 82-79
Jennifer Waxman, AU def. Leah Chenelle, A&M, 84-69
Quincy Hayes, AU def. Isabella Norton, A&M, 86-65
Equitation on the Flat – AU 2, A&M 2
Megan Phillips, A&M def. Ashley Foster, AU, 74-70
Avery Farley, A&M def. Elizabeth Benson, AU, 61-0
Marlena Parker, A&M tied Demi Stiegler, AU, 69-69
Christina Lin, AU def. Paige Russell, 73-66
Haley Buchmiller, A&M def. Tory Hoft, AU, 74-60
Jennifer Delman, AU def. Hannah Williams, A&M, 74-73
Western – A&M 8, AU 3
Horsemanship – A&M 4, AU 1
Ex: Alyssa Soechting, A&M def. Katie Buff, AU, 73.5-64
Ex: Carolyn Day, A&M tied Allie Dusha, AU, 72-72
Logan Pluhar, A&M def. Lacy Watson, 74-68.5
Caroline Ammons, A&M def. Lucy Igoe, AU, 74.5-72
Molli Jacobs, A&M def. Griffin Knight, AU, 74-73.5
Danielle Long, AU def. Laura Brainard, A&M, 72.5-70.5
Rachel Lucht, A&M def. Stephanie Rucci, AU, 76.5-73
Reining – A&M 2, AU 2
Ex Hannah Jechow, A&M def. Hailey Munger, AU, 68-67.5
Lindsey Bernbaum, A&M def. Griffin Knight, AU, 65-63.5
Ashley Skold, A&M tied Cheyenne Cracraft, AU, 66.5-66.5
Laura Sumrall, A&M def. Julianna Cook, AU, 68.5-0
Katsy Leeman, AU def. Ashley Dotson, A&M, 69.5-67.5
Stephanie Rucci, AU def. Sarah Kate Grider, A&M, 66.5-64.5