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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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A&M equestrian defeats South Carolina in SEC Opener

Graduate+Reiner+Lisa+Bricker+practices+before+her+trail+at+Hilderbrand+Equestrian+Complex+on+Friday%2C+Sept.+24%2C+2022.
Photo by Ishika Samant

Graduate Reiner Lisa Bricker practices before her trail at Hilderbrand Equestrian Complex on Friday, Sept. 24, 2022.

The No. 3 Texas A&M equestrian team opened its first Southeastern Conference competition of the season with a 14-6 victory over No. 7 South Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Hildebrand Equine Complex. The win comes after a pair of road victories against Fresno State and UC Davis.
The maroon and white started strong, leading 8-2 at the half, and continued to lead the entire competition. In Reining, both graduate student Lisa Bricker and junior Keesa Luers earned the highest score of 77. Senior Emmy-Lu Marsh earned Most Outstanding Performer, or MOP, honors for Reining. In Flat, junior Maggie Nealon earned the highest score of 89 and was named MOP of Flat. In Fences, senior Morgan Rosia had the highest score of 85 and was named MOP of Fences. In Horsemanship, sophomore Millie Anderson had the highest score of 78 and was named MOP of Horsemanship.
On Thursday, Reining senior Ariana Gray and fifth-year student Haley Redifer, Fences, were named the Southeastern Conference Riders of the Month in their events, according to 12thMan.com. The Aggies swept the Most Outstanding Performer awards against the Gamecocks. Head coach Tana McKay said they rode well and they earned it.
“Anytime you get recognized by the conference is great,” McKay said. “Sweeping the MOPs is just icing on the cake. It’s just one more accolade to them to show them that their hard work is paying off.”
The maroon and white did well in Jumping Seat Flat with a score of 3-2. They fell short in Fences with a score of 2-3.
A&M dominated the western events Horsemanship and Reining with a score of 9-1. The score for Horsemanship was 4-1, and the score for Reining was 5-0.
McKay said she is really happy with how the teams rode.
“Any SEC competition is going to be tough,” McKay said. “The western teams were great and spot on. The Reiners swept their event again for the second time, so they are doing exactly what we planned for, and they were spot on as well.”
McKay said they have two full weeks to prepare for the next meet so they can settle down, not rush things, focus on details and give the horses a break.
“We take it one meet at a time,” McKay said. “We are going to back off on our horses a little bit because they’ve had two tough home competitions, but there is always stuff to learn and fix, so we definitely plan on doing that.”
A&M will take on Georgia on Oct. 22 at 10 a.m. at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga. For updates, follow the A&M equestrian team @AggieEquestrian on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or visit 12thMan.com for the full schedule.
Megan Wedhorn is a journalism sophomore and contributed this piece from the course JOUR 359, Reporting Sports, to The Battalion.

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