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Equestrian Wins National Title

April 13, 2012
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Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
WACO, Texas-Texas A&M clinched the National Collegiate Equestrian Championship on Friday evening with semifinal victories in both the hunter seat and western brackets at the Extraco Events Center.

The Aggies claimed the overall national title-the program's second overall and first since 2002-with a 6-2 win over Georgia in hunter seat and a 4-3 defeat of South Carolina in western. The national title is the 10th overall for A&M, which has also won eight western national championships. In addition, the Aggies became the first program in NCEA history to advance to the finals in both disciplines.

Texas A&M will look to become the first team to ever sweep all three national championships on Saturday afternoon when the Aggies battle Baylor in the hunter seat finals and Oklahoma State in the western finals. A&M's western team is looking for its fourth consecutive national title, while the hunter seat riders are seeking their first. Both match-ups are scheduled to get underway around 1 p.m. (CT).

The story of the weekend for Texas A&M is its seventh-seeded hunter seat squad, which pulled an upset of No. 2-seed South Carolina earlier in the day to reach the semis. This time, it would be third-seeded Georgia who was the victim-as the Aggies took six of eight possible points for the third straight time this weekend en route to their second finals appearance in history.

Senior Maggie Earle continued to be the star of the weekend for A&M, moving to 6-0 at this year's NCEAs with a victory on the flat and another over fences. Haley Buchmiller joined her in the winner's circle on the flat to split that discipline. Soon thereafter, Earle's victory over fences combined with wins by Leah Chenelle, Kori Pickett and Lia Chafee gave the Aggies the first fences sweep of the Bulldogs in school history and put Texas A&M into the hunter seat finals for the first time since 2008.

Simultaneously, the top-seeded western team was battling fifth-seeded South Carolina in an effort to make its fourth consecutive national finals appearance, and the Aggies would gut out a 4-3 victory-its 13th in a row at NCEAs.

A&M opened up a strong lead with an impressive reining performance, as the first three riders-Courtney Dawe, Becca Murray and Abigail Grabein-all picked up victories and staked the Aggies to a 3-0 lead.

A tie score on the final reining ride of the match-up still left the Aggies one win away from a finals berth. As the discipline flipped to horsemanship, the Gamecocks won the first two points to pull within one, but Amanda Brightwell's two-point win over Maggie Fortune was the clinching ride and put A&M into the finals.

Scoring updates will be provided on aggieathletics.com and through the Aggies' official twitter feed at @AggieEquestrian. In addition, free live video will be available on collegiateequestrian.com.

TEXAS A&M EQUESTRIAN'S NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS (10)

Overall

2002 (IHSA), 2012 (NCEA)

Western (IHSA)

2002, 2003, 2004

Western (NCEA)

2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011

HUNTER SEAT BRACKET: (#7) Texas A&M 6, (#3) Georgia 2

NCEA Hunter Seat Semifinals

Friday, April 13, 2012 - Extraco Events Center - Waco, Texas

Equitation on the Flat (A&M 2, Georgia 2)

Maggie Earle, A&M def. Michelle Morris, UGA, 154-121

Carly Anthony, UGA def. Marisa Bernal, A&M, 156-146

Haley Buchmiller, A&M def. Kylee Arbuckle, UGA, 160-147

Grace Rogers, UGA def. Hannah Soibelman, A&M, 152-139

Equitation over Fences (A&M 4, Georgia 0)

Leah Chenelle, A&M def. Michelle Morris, UGA, 144-132

Kori Pickett, A&M def. Olivia Dorey, UGA, 143-141

Lia Chafee, A&M def. Kylee Arbuckle, UGA, 163-159

Maggie Earle, A&M def. Carly Anthony, UGA, 136-0

WESTERN BRACKET: (#1) Texas A&M 4, (#5) South Carolina 3

NCEA Western Semifinals

Friday, April 13, 2012 - Extraco Events Center - Waco, Texas

Reining (A&M 3, South Carolina 0)

Courtney Dawe, A&M def. Amanda Pope, USC, 138-133.5

Becca Murray, A&M def. Cody McMillion, USC, 136.5-135.5

Abigail Grabein, A&M def. Audrey Jewell, USC, 135-132.5

Lindsey Bernbaum, A&M tied Layla Choate, USC, 136.5-136.5

Horsemanship (South Carolina 3, A&M 1)

Alison Cerasani, USC def. Katie Lisabeth, A&M, 147-135

Samantha Chiodo, USC def. Kelsey Adams, A&M, 146-125

Amanda Brightwell, A&M def. Maggie Fortune, USC, 148-146

Johanna Letchworth, USC def. Carey Nowacek, A&M, 146-142

NCEA HUNTER SEAT CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS

First Round

(#9) Kansas State 5, (#8) TCU 3

(#5) SMU 5, (#12) UT Martin 3

(#11) Oklahoma State 7, (#6) New Mexico State 1

(#7) Texas A&M 6, (#10) Fresno State 2

Quarterfinals

(#1) Auburn 4, (#9) Kansas State 4 (Auburn advances on tiebreaker)

(#4) Baylor 7, (#5) SMU 1

(#3) Georgia 4, (#11) Oklahoma State 4 (UGA advances on tiebreaker)

(#7) Texas A&M 6, (#2) South Carolina 2

Semifinals (Friday, April 13)

(#4) Baylor 4, (#1) Auburn 3

(#7) Texas A&M 6, (#3) Georgia 2

Finals (Saturday, April 14)

(#7) Texas A&M vs (#4) Baylor

NCEA WESTERN CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS

First Round

(#8) Fresno State 6, (#9) New Mexico State 2

(#5) South Carolina 7, (#12) UT Martin 1

(#6) Kansas State 6, (#11) South Dakota State 2

(#10) TCU 5, (#7) Baylor 3

Quarterfinals

(#1) Texas A&M 8, (#8) Fresno State 0

(#5) South Carolina 5, (#4) Auburn 3

(#3) Georgia 4, (#6) Kansas State 4 (UGA advances on tiebreaker)

(#2) Oklahoma State 5, (#10) TCU 3

Semifinals (Friday, April 13)

(#1) Texas A&M 4, (#5) South Carolina 3

(#2) Oklahoma State 5, (#3) Georgia 3

Finals (Saturday, April 14)

(#1) Texas A&M vs (#2) Oklahoma State

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