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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 equestrian advances to team semifinals, falls to Georgia

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Photo by Josh Gleason

Senior Kaylee McCann outscored Betsy Brown with a score of 68.5. 

A hectic first day of team competition brought both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat to the Texas A&M Equestrian team.
The Aggies outperformed No. 7 South Carolina 10-6 in the quarterfinals of the team event but fell to Georgia 8-7 in the semifinals in a nail bitting match.
A&M’s first test of the day came against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the team quarterfinals.
The competition between the two teams in the Hunt Seat disciplines was neck-and-neck.
Both Equitation over Fences and Equitation on the Flat ended in 2-2 ties between the Aggies and Gamecocks. Fences featured standout performances from A&M’s Haley Redifier and Caroline Dance, both of whom earned scores of 248 and 245, respectively.
On the Flat, Dance once again prevailed under pressure to earn another point for the Aggies. Senior Rebekah Chenelle, who was selected for both the All SEC Flat and Fences teams, outperformed her opponent to earn the second point for the Aggies in the event.
The momentum began to shift in A&M’s favor during the Western portion of the competition.
Successful rides by Courtney Yohey (208.5) and Kalee McCann (213.5) earned the Aggie a victory in Reining. In Horsemanship, the Aggie squad swept the event 4-0.
A&M senior Katie Conklin defeated South Carolina’s standout freshman Sloane Vogt to earn the first point for the Aggies, while a strong ride by fellow senior Sarah Orsak ensured the Aggies’ shutout victory in the event.
Following their victory over South Carolina, A&M advanced to the semifinals to face off with No. 6 Georgia. The Bulldogs are a familiar opponent for the Aggies, who faced them twice during regular season play and a third time in the SEC championships.
Horsemanship, which featured all-conference riders from both schools, was the first event of the day.
Similar to the quarterfinals round, the event ended in a 2-2 tie. Junior Ashley Davidson and Orsak defeated their competitors with 222 and 210.5 wins in the event, while Georgia standout freshman Sara Lewis verified her status as an All SEC freshman team member with her ride.
Equitation over Fences was a standout event for the Aggies. A&M riders Dance, Grace Boston and Redifer all had incredible performances to contribute to the Aggies’ 3-0 shutout win in the event.
Reining proved to be more of a challenge for the Aggies. Despite good performances by A&M’s riders, Georgia’s squad took all four points. The competition was extremely tight, with an average margin of only four points separating the victors from their challengers.
Equitation on the Flat, the final event of the day, gave A&M the chance to earn back the lead.
Chenelle and Dance once again earned big scores to give the Aggies two points. Georgia riders Madison Newman and Hayley Mairano also earned two points, ending Flat with a 2-2 tie and solidifying the Bulldogs 8-7 victory in the competition.
With the win, Georgia advances to the team finals to face No. 1 seed Auburn in the championship match on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Although the Aggies were eliminated from team competition, they will be back in action on Friday in pursuit of individual event titles.
In Equitation over Fences, the Aggies will face South Carolina on Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the quarterfinals. Equitation on the Flat’s next round of competition will take place on Friday at 1:30 p.m. when the Aggies take on Oklahoma State. In Reining, the Aggies will compete with SMU at 8:30 a.m. on Friday. Horsemanship will commence on Friday at 3:00 p.m. against TCU.

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