COLLEGE STATION, Texas – The Texas A&M equestrian team (2-7, 1-5 SEC) hosts its first meet in the Thomas G. Hildebrand DVM ’56 Equine Complex in College Station this Saturday at 11 a.m. as the Aggies welcome third-ranked Oklahoma State (6-3, 3-3 Big 12). The competition will be the Aggies’ final home event of the season.
The opening ceremonies will commence at 10:45 a.m. in the Hunter Seat Ring before equitation over fences and horsemanship begin in the hunter seat ring and Western Arena, respectively. Equitation on the flat and reining will start at approximately 1 p.m. The match will conclude with a Senior Day presentation in the Hunter Seat Ring. The first 100 students in attendance will receive a free breakfast taco, courtesy of Rudy’s Bar B-Q.
“Saturday will be an all-around momentous occasion for our team,” Head Coach Tana McKay said. “We’re excited to debut the Hildebrand Equine Complex to the public, and to compete in our new home for the first time. This will also be the last time our seniors compete in Aggieland and we will be honoring them after the meet. We’re hoping for a big crowd as we close out the regular season against Oklahoma State.”
This weekend’s meet will conclude with a special Senior Day celebration. The 10 seniors who will be honored on Saturday are Caroline Ammons, Lindsey Bernbaum, Laura Brainard, Camilla Cook, Brittany Hildebrand, Shelby Lawson, Alyssa Martin, Paige Russell, Ashley Skold and Ellie Wilkins.
In Texas A&M’s last contest, the Aggies fell to the top-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks, 11-6, at OneWood Farm in Blythewood, S.C., to close out the SEC regular season. Bernbaum was named Most Outstanding Player in the reining competition. The Aggies’ five conference losses this season have come at just a combined nine points.
Junior Haley Buchmiller leads the team with three Most Outstanding Player performances this season in equitation on the flat while sophomore Marlena Parker boasts an additional MOP award for equitation over fences. Brainard and sophomore Logan Pluhar have each claimed two MOP performances in horsemanship.
Oklahoma State is riding high after defeating No. 5 Baylor last weekend in Stillwater, 11-7. Andrea Robbins was named Most Outstanding Player in equitation over fences while Samantha Harrison, who just garnered Big 12 Rider of the Month honors for February, and Sammy Elser both posted scores in the 90s as well. Kathy Krshka was named MOP in horsemanship for the seventh time this season in the win over the Bears. Finally, Justine Peters also received the MOP award for her performance in reining.
The last time these two squads faced off was in the hunter seat first round at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) Championship in April, when the Aggies upset the Cowgirls, 5-3. In the previous full competition in Stillwater last February, Oklahoma State held off a late A&M charge for the 16-8 victory.
Up next, the Aggies will travel to Blythewood, S.C., for the SEC Championships, hosted by South Carolina. Texas A&M has clinched the No. 4 seed, and will face No. 1 seed USC in the March 28 semifinal round.
Live scoring for the Aggies’ meet against OSU will be available through AggieAthletics.com. Follow @AggieEquestrian on Twitter to learn more about the team.
Approximate Order of Events
10:45 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies – Hunter Seat Ring
11 a.m. – Equitation over Fences – Hunter Seat Ring
11 a.m. – Horsemanship – Western Arena
1 p.m. – Equitation on the Flat – Hunter Seat Ring
1 p.m. – Reining – Western Arena
3 p.m. – Senior Day Presentation – Hunter Seat Ring
ABOUT THE THOMAS G. HILDEBRAND DVM ’56 EQUINE COMPLEX
Part of the first phase of an $80 million equine initiative project, the Hildebrand Equine Complex becomes the premiere collegiate equestrian facility in the country. The Aggies’ new home includes locker rooms, offices, a concessions building, a 50-stall barn, two covered warm-up arenas and two covered competition arenas.
The College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at A&M joined together to create the Texas A&M Equine Initiative which will provide industry-leading, comprehensive equine science research, education and outreach programs, and a home for Texas A&M student activities. The first phase was approved by the Texas A&M Board of Regents in May of 2012 and was supported by a major cornerstone gift, in-kind gifts and other major gifts.
This unique center represents a partnership between multiple entities and agencies within Texas A&M University including CVM, Texas A&M AgriLife/College of Agriculture and Life Sciences/the Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M Athletics and Transportation Services.