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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M rides away from Waco as national champ

The Texas A&M equestrian team’s western riders took home the 2009 Varsity Equestrian National Championship in western riding Saturday after downing defending champion Texas Christian 7-1 in Waco.
The Aggies placed sixth in the hunter seat riding, putting them at No. 2 overall in the championship standings.
The Aggies won the western championship for the second time in three years with a record of 14-1. It is A&M’s seventh national championship in the 10-year history of the sport at the varsity level.
A&M’s horsemanship riders went 4-0 against TCU and 11-0 in the tournament. Freshman Katie Lisabeth, junior Carolina Gunn, senior Sibyl Parsons, and sophomore Randi Standley all earned wins to help the Aggies beat TCU.
“I believe this win was very well-deserved,” horsemanship coach Beth Bass told AggieAthletics.com. “We were more focused this week than I have ever seen this team at any competition since I’ve been here. I’m beyond ecstatic. We knew this would be tough but I think we were the most mentally tough team this week and it showed in the ring.”
The Aggies’ reiners added three wins of their own against TCU to finish the week 10-2. Seniors Amanda Ryan and Genna Fishgold and junior Maggie Gratny all had wins.
Individually, Gunn continued her collegiate equestrian dominance by posting a week-best score of 154.5 to put her in the championship match. There she topped Kansas State’s Alyssa Freeman with a score of 152.5-140.
“I knew I had to go hard but I knew I had a horse that was able to go hard,” Gunn told AggieAthletics.com. “I had confidence in both our abilities to do the job that needed to be done. What we did this week was unbelievable. Our western team has been incredibly strong all year but to perform the way we did this week was history making.”
A&M lost the fifth place hunter seat match to Oklahoma State 5-2, giving the Aggies No. 2 overall. Georgia won the overall National Championship with 51 points. A&M, Oklahoma State, Auburn, and TCU rounded out the overall Top 5.
“To end up as the reserve team overall for three straight years is a testament to the consistency of both of our disciplines,” Head Coach Tana McKay told AggieAthletics.com. “This is a demanding competition against the best riders in the country. It’s hard to put into words how proud I am of our team and our program.”

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