AUBURN, Ala. - The fourth-ranked Texas A&M equestrian team (1-2, 0-2 SEC) dropped a close 11-9 meeting to Southeastern Conference foe No. 3 Auburn (2-1, 1-1 SEC) Saturday at the Auburn University Horse Center.
"Our meets with Auburn are always exciting and today was no different," head coach Tana McKay said. "Obviously, we wanted a different outcome but our riders rode hard and I'm proud of their effort. Auburn is a challenging opponent and we look forward to hosting them in the spring."
Seniors Laura Brainard (Horsemanship) and Emma Myers (reining) each came away with Most Outstanding Player awards. Brainard's award was her second of the season and her second in SEC competition. The Aggies now own seven of 12 possible MOP honors from the first three meets of the year.
Reining, which took place at the same time as equitation over fences, ended with a 3-2 A&M victory which including Myers' 67-63 MOP ride. Seniors Emily Williams and Kori Pickett each earned wins in fences and the meet was in a draw with two disciplines left.
With the teams locked in a 5-5 tie, the meet entered equitation on the flat and horsemanship simultaneously. Auburn took four of five rides in flat with sophomore Haley Buchmiller earning the Aggies' only victory in that discipline.
Auburn nabbed a 9-6 lead after fences, but the Aggie horsemanship riders began closing the gap on the Tigers. Auburn took the first ride of horsemanship, but seniors Brainard (MOP), Amanda Brightwell and Carey Nowacek each outrode their opponents to bring the meet within one point, 10-9. A 3.5-point victory for AU's Katsy Leeman gave the Tigers their first-ever SEC victory and an 11-9 win over the Aggies.
A&M will be back in action in its first home meet of the season on Friday, Oct. 26 at the Brazos County Expo Center. The hunter seat team will ride against SMU at 9 a.m. (CST) before the western squad faces TCU at 12 p.m. (CST). To learn more about Texas A&M equestrian, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieEquestrian on Twitter.
TEXAS A&M 9, AUBURN 11
Auburn University Horse Center - Auburn, Ala.
Records: A&M (1-2, 0-2 SEC), Auburn (2-1, 1-1 SEC)
HUNTER SEAT: AU 7, A&M 3
Equitation over Fences: AU 3, A&M 2
Christina Lin (MOP), AU def. Leah Chenelle, A&M, 88-79
Jennifer Waxman, AU def. Shelby Lawson, A&M, 83-76
Emily Williams, A&M def. Melena Smith, AU, 83-70
Kori Pickett, A&M def. Quincy Hayes, AU, 80-78
Megan Bifano, AU def. Kat Barkema, A&M, 77-40
Equitation on the Flat: AU 4, A&M 1
Jennifer Delman, AU def. Hannah Williams, A&M, 84-64
Anna Becker, AU def. Emily Williams, A&M, 69-61
Haley Buchmiller, A&M def. Quincy Hayes, AU, 76-67
Christina Lin (MOP), AU def. Kelsi Shevlin, A&M, 84-67
Lindsay Portela, AU def. Paige Russell, A&M, 72-69
WESTERN: A&M 6, AUBURN 4
Horsemanship: A&M 3, AU 2
Indy Roper, AU def. Molli Jacobs, A&M, 76-73.5
Laura Brainard (MOP), A&M def. Stephanie Rucci, AU, 76-72
Amanda Brightwell, A&M def. Danielle Long, AU, 75-70.5
Carey Nowacek, A&M def. Katie Buff, AU, 74.5-71
Katsy Leeman, AU def. Cassie Mantor, A&M, 71-66.5
Reining: A&M 3, AU 2
Indy Roper, AU def. Logan Pluhar, 71.5-70
Laura Sumrall, A&M def. Stephanie Rucci, AU 70-65.5
Emma Myers (MOP), A&M def. Julianna Cook, AU, 67-63
Cheyenne Cracraft, AU def. Becca Murray, A&M, 70-69
Ashley Skold, A&M, def. Hailey Munger, AU, 67-62.5