Auburn Wins a Close One Over South Carolina, and More NCEA Results from the Weekend

RELEASE: February 18, 2013

Four NCEA matchups over President’s Day weekend yielded two razor thin victories and two blow outs. Thursday’s matchup between No.2 Auburn and No.4 South Carolina was arguably the most exciting of the spring season thus far. My recap of that and the other NCEA matches from the weekend is below.

No.2 Auburn University def. No.4 South Carolina University 10-9

Indy Roper, shown here riding Glenda, set an SEC season high score in reining to help lead the Tigers over the Gamecocks 10-9 (Danielle Long - Sophomore at Auburn)
Indy Roper, shown here riding Glenda, set an SEC season high score in reining to help lead the Tigers over the Gamecocks 10-9 (Danielle Long - Sophomore at Auburn)
During the fall half of the NCEA season South Carolina defeated Auburn 10-9, in Blythewood, SC. That victory helped catapult the Gamecocks to the No.1 ranking. The tigers haven’t lost since then. Thursday they got their revenge, but they had to fight for it.

At the midway point of the match South Carolina looked to be in control. Led by MOP Johnna Lecthworth the Gamecocks took Horsemanship 3-2. Senior Kimberly McCormick did her part as team leader in overall wins by earning the MOP in Equitation over Fences, and scoring a competition high 94 as South Carolina went on to win that phase 3-2. The 6-4 lead wasn’t commanding, but in a meeting of two evenly matched teams, that two point lead could have been enough.

The Tigers came out strong on the flat though, with Christina Lin, Hasbrouck Donovan , Elizabeth Benson, and Jennifer Delman all wining to turn the tables and give the Tigers an 8-7 lead heading into Reining. It was a tense phase that left the teams tied 9-9 with two riders left. Then Indy Roper set an SEC season high score in reining to beat game SC freshman Sarah Brouchard 77-75 and give the Tigers a one point lead. Katsy Leeman secured the victory by earning a 72 and tying SC's Audrey Jewell.

“I thought we were turning in pretty some strong rides,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams told “I thought we were going to be in a better position after the half, and I just told our girls congratulations to our seniors for their last regular season meet here and hanging on to win. What I was most proud of was their composure. They didn’t get too frustrated. They stayed upbeat, and I’m so proud of them.”

Auburn’s win keeps the two teams streaking in opposite directions. The tigers are now 6-1 overall (3-1 SEC) and have avenged their only loss of the season. The Gamecocks extended their losing streak to four, have dropped to 4-4 overall (3-2 SEC), and have now lost two consecutive conference matchups. Both teams will be in action again next Saturday with South Carolina hosting Texas A&M and Auburn Hosting Delaware State.

Final Score 10-9

Reining:  Indy roper (AU)
Horsemanship: Johnna Lechtworth (USC)
Equitation over Fences: Kimberly McCormick (USC)
Equitation on the Flat:  Katherine Schmidt (AU)

No.8 Texas Christian University def. Fresno State University 14-6

Texas Christian played host to Fresno State Friday, and held nothing back. TCU’s  western team was dominant, winning Horsemanship and Reining by a combined score of 8-2. Hunter Seat action was much closer, ending in a 6-4 overall win in Equitation over Fences and on the Flat for TCU.

TCU has now won two in a row and improved to 4-3 overall.

Final Score 14-6

Reining: Ciara Kozlowski (FSU)
Horsemanship: Samantha Bayer (TCU)
Equitation over Fences: Taylor Alexander (TCU)
Equitation on the Flat: Demi Stiegler (TCU)

No.6 Baylor def. No.10 SMU 5-5

In a Hunter Seat only match (SMU currently does not have a Western team, but will beginning next season) the defending NCEA Hunter Seat Champions Baylor Bears traveled to Dallas and won via raw score tiebreaker. In Equitation on the Flat Baylor won 3-2 with Samantha Schaefer, who would end up earning the MOP award in both phases, leading the way. Schaefer scored an 80 in her Equitation over Fences round, the high score of the day, but wins from Emma Roberts, Colleen McCkenzie, and Courtney Line gave SMU the over Fences victory.

With the score tied 5-5 the winner was decided by raw score tiebreaker. An upset win would have been nice for the Mustangs, who were celebrating senior day, but 11 points kept that from happening as the Bears left Dallas winning the tiebreaker 738-727.  

Final Score 5-5 (738-727)


Equitation over Fences:  Samantha Schaefer (BU)
Equitation on the Flat: Samantha Schaefer (BU)

No.3 Oklahoma State University def. Fresno State University 15-4

Raw score would indicate that this one was a lot closer than it looked, and a Fresno State win…but it wasn’t. Despite outscoring the cowboy’s 1449.5-1423.5 the Fresno State Bulldogs left Stillwater with 15-4 loss and an 0-8 record. Fresno State had some strong performances, like that of Equitation on the Flat MOP Kimberly Hewson Budnik, but they did not match up well against the cowgirls who won 4-1 in Equitation on the Flat, 5-0 in Equitation over Fences, and 4-1 in Horsemanship. In reining the teams tied 2-2.

Oklahoma State travels to Baylor next Saturday while Fresno State will return to action March 1-2 against Delaware State and New Mexico State respectively.

Final Score: 15-4

Reining: Katy Krshka (OSU)
Horsemanship: Katy Krshka
Equitation over Fences: Samantha Harrison
Equitation on the Flat: Kimberly Hewson Budnik

Andrew Minnick is the editor of the Equestrian Weekly newsletter. Connect with him on Twitter - @ahminnick