Texas A&M Stops Skid, Defeats Auburn at Home, and More NCEA Results from the Weekend

RELEASE: March 4, 2013

A couple of top ranked NCEA teams traveled to Texas this past weekend and didn't escape with out scars on their records. Auburn lost its first match of the weekend to Texas A&M, K-State had a rough couple days, Georgia and South Carolina won big in their final home matches of the season, and Fresno State finally added a few marks to the win column. My quick recap of the weekend that was across the NCEA is below

The Texas A&M Aggies looked like a revitalized team against Auburn on Friday (Aggie Athletics/Glen Johnson)
The Texas A&M Aggies looked like a revitalized team against Auburn on Friday (Aggie Athletics/Glen Johnson)
No.6 Texas A&M University def. No.2 Auburn University

Apparently, the Texas A&M Aggies were waiting for the red hot Auburn Tigers to come into town before winning their first SEC competition. They were on a bad losing streak, and below .500%, but with one good performance they have avenged an earlier loss to the Tigers, gained some crucial confidence heading into championship season, and blurred the national rankings picture a bit.

The Aggies got big 3-1 wins in Horsemanship & Equitation on the Flat that propelled them to the 10-7 victory. Auburn shot out to a 3-2 win in Equitation over fences, but couldn’t win another phase. The teams tied 2-2 in Reining.

Texas A&M closes out their season at home against No.1 Georgia on Friday. Auburn went 2-1 on their season ending Texas road trip. They end up with a very solid 10-2 overall record, and were 4-2 in the SEC. The Tigers will host the first ever SEC Equestrian Championship March 29-30.

Final Score 10-7

Horsemanship:  Laura Brainard (TAMU)
Reining: Indy Roper (AUB)
Equitation on the Flat: Elizabeth Dobson (AUB)
Equitation over Fences: Elizabeth Benson (TAMU)

No.6 Baylor University def. No.4 Kansas State University

Friday was a good day for the two teams ranked No.6 in the coaches poll. Texas A&M won convincingly, and so did Baylor over Kansas State. Baylor not only took a 12-7 win from the Wildcats, but won every phase and swept the MOP awards.

3-2 wins in Equitation over Fences, Equitation on the Flat, and Horsemanship, augmented by a 3-1 Reining victory showed that the match wasn’t a blowout, but that the Baylor was clearly the better team The Bears, who have competed a lot this year have looked very good during the spring and appear to be hitting their stride heading into championship season. They dropped a close one to Auburn a day after this win, but they looked like one of the nation’s top teams while doing so.

Kansas State, on the other hand, is in the midst of a skid. They’ll have the chance to recover from their two loses this weekend (the Wildcats also lost to TCU on Saturday), over the next couple weekends against South Carolina and Oklahoma State.

Final Score: 12-7

Horsemanship: Ashley Garza (BU)
Reining: Olivia Rodgers (BU)
Equitation on the Flat: Samantha Schaefer (BU)
Equitation over Fences: Jenny Mitchell (BU)

No.2 Auburn University def. No.6 Baylor University

The Bears have been on the good side of some tiebreakers recently, but their luck ran out on Saturday. Baylor nearly had a two upset weekend, but Auburn managed to win a nearly unbelievably close raw-score tiebreaker by only 4 points, 1603-1599.

Auburn’s trouble on the flat continued, and almost cost them a match in which they won three of the four phases. 3-2 wins in Horsemanship, Reining, and Equitation over Fences were just enough the make up for a 4-1 loss in Equitation on the Flat.

It was Baylor’s final regular season match, and a tough way for the Bears to end their season. But head coach Ellen White still felt good about the performance, “it was so close and to come down to all those raw scores, thousands of points, and we only lost by four,” she said to, “ it shows how tight it was and they rode well. I feel confident going into our postseason."

Final Score: 10-10 (1603-1599)

Horsemanship: Parris Rice (BU)
Reining: Cheyenne Cracraft (AU)
Equitation on the Flat: Samantha Schaefer (BU)
Equitation over Fences:  Samantha Schaefer (BU)

No.8 Texas Christian University def No.4 Kansas State University

The Horned Frogs used a dominating performance by their Western team to handily win this Big 12 matchup. The Hunter Seat teams tied 5-5, with TCU winning Equitation on the Flat 3-2 and K-State Equitation over Fences 3-2. But the Horned Frogs won Reining 4-1 and swept Horsemanship 5-0. One bright spot for the Wildcats was the performance of Junior Rachel Webster who earned MOP accolades in both phases of Hunter Seat competition.

Kansas State has chances to rebound over the next few weeks, but they were somewhat outclassed on this road trip to Texas. Wildcats head coach Casie Maxwell summarized the day, and weekend for K-State in saying, “our team just underperformed as a whole…”

TCU finished off their weekend with a narrow loss to Auburn on Sunday. They will face Delaware State and Sacred Heart next weekend to finish up their regular season.

Final Score: 14-6

Horsemanship: Katie Gray (TCU)
Reining: Kolby Simonson (TCU)
Equitation on the Flat: Rachel Webster (KSU)
Equitation over Fences: Rachel Webster (KSU)

No.2 Auburn University def. No.8 Texas Christian University 

Auburn made nothing easy this weekend, but still managed a 2-1 Texas road trip. They finished with a 9-8 victory over TCU. For Auburn, it again came down to the Western team doing just enough to back up a strong Hunter Seat performance. There were two ties in Equitation on the Flat, but Auburn managed to take the phase 2-1. Auburn’s margin of victory came mostly from a 4-1 win over fences. They picked up the 3 points needed in Western competition for the overall win, and finished their season strong.

TCU riders earned three of the four MOP awards, and will look to improve upon that 6-5 record in their remaining two regular season matches.

Final Score: 9-8

Horsemanship: Erin Gillette (TCU)
Reining: Samantha Bayer (TCU)
Equitation on the Flat: Caitlin Ader (TCU)
Equitation over Fences: Hasbrouck Donovan: AU)

No.1 University of Georgia def. University of Tennessee Martin

As expected, the Bulldogs defeated the Skyhawks handily in Bishop, GA. on Senior Day. Georgia swept Horsemanship and Equitation on the Flat and Bulldog riders earned all four MOP awards.

The Bulldogs finish up their season on Friday against Texas A&M in College Station, TX. UT-M finishes up their NCEA season on Friday, March 22 against South Dakota State.

Final Score:  15-3

Horsemanship: Paige Stawicki
Reining: McKenzie Lantz
Equitation on the Flat: Carly Anthony
Equitation over Fences: Sarah Milliren

No.5 South Carolina University def. Delaware State University

South Carolina celebrated their home finale with an easy win over the Delaware State Hornets.  The 15-4 win didn’t look easy at first though. Delaware State jumped out to a lead after winning 3-1 in Reining. The Gamecocks responded with 5-0 sweep in Equitation over Fences though, and added a 5-0 sweep in horsemanship.

"It's always special when we can get a win for our seniors in the final home meet,” said South Carolina head coach Boo Major. “We need to carry this over to next weekend when we hit the road to face two tough opponents."

South Carolina closes out the regular season this weekend at Kansas State and Oklahoma State.

Final Score: 15-4

Horsemanship: Johnna Lechtworth (USC)
Equitation on the Flat: Logan Holler (USC)
Equitation over Fences:  Amber Henter

Fresno State University def. No.10 New Mexico State University & No.10 South Dakota State University

Fresno State hasn’t had a great season thus far, but they got a little redemption with two convincing wins at home against nationally ranked teams. Against South Dakota State the Bulldogs swept Equitation on the Flat 4-0 and won the other three phases 3-1 on their way to a 13-3 win. 

Against New Mexico State they had more of a battle. Equitation on the Flat was a 2-2 tie, and NMSU took Equitation over Fences 3-1. The Fresno State Western team did what they needed to though and won 3-0 and 3-1 in Horsemanship and Reining respectively on the way to a 9-6 win.

"Today was an excellent day for our team," said head coach Collins Daye. "It was one of the first times we rode this season and didn't eliminate ourselves by making silly mistakes. Rather, they eliminated their silly mistakes and put down some great rides."

Final Score: 13-3 (FSU vs. SDSU) 9-6 (FSU vs. NMSU)

(FSU vs. SDSU)
Horsemanship:  Kristen McKillop (FSU)
Reining: Lauren Crivelli (FSU)
Equitation on the Flat:  Kimberly Hewson Budnik (FSU)
Equitation over Fences:  Kimberly Hewson Budnik (FSU)

(FSU vs. NMSU)
Horsemanship: Lauren Crivelli (FSU)
Reining: Kristen McKillop (FSU)
Equitation of the Flat: Macy Wilson (FSU)
Equitation over Fences:  Kimberly Hewson Budnik (FSU)

No.10 New Mexico State University def. No.10 South Dakota State University

Neither of these teams expected the result they got against Fresno State, but New Mexico State did the better job bouncing back and took a 9-4 win over the Jackrabbits. The SDSU Hunter Seat team was on form, riding to a 2-1 win on the flat and 2-2 tie over fences, but the New Mexico State Western team was too much for them. A 3-0 win in Horsemanship and 3-1 win in Reining had the Aggies feeling a little better about themselves on their way out of California.

Final Score: 9-4

Horsemanship:  Courtney Cruse (NMSU)
Reining: Laura Dunlavy (SDSU)
Equitation on the Flat:  Laura Bostwick (NMSU)
Equitation over Fences: Emily McConnell (NMSU)

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