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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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A&M brings reining hardware home to College Station

Photo by Provided by Texas A&M Athletics

Texas A&M won the tie breaker in the Reining National Championship by half a point.

Closing their season out with a strong finish, the No. 4 Texas A&M equestrian team took home the Reining National Championship after defeating the Auburn Tigers in a 562.5-562 raw score tiebreaker during the Reining finals at the NCEA national championships on Saturday in Waco, Texas.
According to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association website, reining riders perform a series of assigned patterns. Riders are judged based on their ability to maneuver unfamiliar horses and demonstrate a variety of handles.
A&M’s reining team was the only event to advance past the semifinals during Friday’s round of play. The Aggies defeated Southern Methodist 3-1 with junior reining captain Kalee McCann leading the team with her win over SMU’s Keagan Snively, 140-137.
After advancing to the semifinals, A&M dominated their next opponent, the South Carolina Gamecocks, with a 3-0 win. Here, A&M was led by senior Ashton Dunkel, who defeated Jordan Scott 132.5-127.5 early in the matchup. Teammates senior Madison Bohman and sophomore Darby Gardner, followed close behind and added two more points to the board after topping their opponents, 136.5-135.5 and 141-132.5.
A&M head coach Tana McKay said she was pleased with how the Aggies worked as a team in the arena and were able to come out with a win after struggles during the week.
“I’m really proud of the team today,” McKay said to “They’re a resilient group. They had some highs and lows and went through a lot this week. They worked together as a group, and it showed in the arena. We had a tough spring semester, but they came out here and nailed it. They nailed it as a group, and that is the most exciting thing. It was a group effort. One of the best group efforts I’ve seen in a long time. I am so proud of them.”
A&M took an early 2-1 lead. However, a tiebreaker was soon forced by the Tigers after their last rider, Terri June Granger, defeated A&M’s Gardner 141-135.5.
With the score all tied up, the championship would come down to the overall raw score for both teams. The Aggies came out on top by just half a point.
A&M’s raw score of 562.5 was due in part to McCann and Gardner’s event scores of 138 and 135.5, respectively. McCann was later awarded Most Outstanding Player for her efforts in the arena.
Bohman started the Aggies off with their first point of the night. She said with this being her last collegiate competition, she couldn’t have asked for a better ride or a better horse.
“Overall, the reiners did really well today,” Bohman told “It was my last ride, which was really bittersweet. I laid out a really solid pattern. I was the very first one to go, so it was kind of a lot of pressure, but it was so much fun. I had a really nice horse, huge stopper. When I went to my last stop and finished my pot and just started crying because it was my last ride. It was amazing. Couldn’t have gone any better.”

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