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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 equestrian looks for first SEC Championship title, defeats South Carolina 14-6

Photo by Julianne Shivers
Junior jumping seat rider Brooke Brombach rides queen at the Texas A&M vs Baylor Equestrian meet on Sept.29, 2023 at the Hildbrand Equine Complex. (Julianne Shivers/ The Battalion)

Texas A&M equestrian hosted the SEC Championship semifinals at Hildebrand Equine Complex as the No. 1 seed and competed against No. 4 seed South Carolina on Friday, March 30. The Aggies defeated the Gamecocks for a third time this season, winning 14-6.

During the season, the Aggies faced the Gamecocks twice, reigning victorious both times with a 10-8 win on Nov. 3, 2023 and a 11-7 win on Feb. 10. Friday evening was no different for the Aggies, riding high once again with a date now scheduled with Auburn, who defeated Georgia 12-7 in the semifinals.

“They handled the adversity issues really well today,” coach Tana McKay said. “We had to do a couple of re-rides and so we just handled that. We go in with a plan and try to execute and then you kind of have to regroup and get a new horse. It all happens really quick, and they did a great job of handling that today.”

Senior Maggie Nealon had herself a career day, setting the A&M school record for a SEC Championship meet by scoring a 89.33 in the Flat, beating out South Carolina sophomore Mary Hunter Millet, who scored a 85.33.

In the Flat, A&M collected 2 more points with wins from sophomore Devon Thomas and junior Rylee Shufelt. Thomas defeated South Carolina freshman Sarah Rabb 86.00-82.00 while Shufelt won by the narrowest of margins, 85.33-84.33, against junior Ellie Beard.

The Maroon and White were in for another bumpy ride in Reining. To start out, junior Lauren Hanson scored A&M a point after securing a 71.17-70.00 win over senior Emilia Reutimann. Senior Keesa Luers stole another point for the Aggies with a 69.83-66.67 victory over sophomore Mattie McNeill. Sophomore Gracie Casebolt finished off strong at the halfway mark, recording a 3-point win over senior Emma Lane that helped A&M take a 6-4 lead.

A&M never looked back in the competition, scoring a pair of fours in both Fences and Horsemanship.

Freshman Ali Treuting, junior Brooke Brombach, Thomas and freshman Kate Egan all contributed in the Fences with Brombach leading the way with a score of 90.33. As a fencing team, the girls worked together to combine for a 441.67 score, whereas the Gamecocks only earned 423.67.

South Carolina’s horsemanship could not answer, suffering a 357.50-353.67 loss to A&M, giving up 4 more points.

Junior Ellie Gerbrandt got a 75.83-71.83 win followed by senior Ella Petak’s 72.50-71.17 victory. A&M’s leading Horsemanship scorer of the day, graduate Cori Cansdale, achieved a triumphant 76.33-74.50 win and a 70.67-64.00 victory by junior Hanna Olaussen led A&M to a spot in the SEC Championship.

The raw score ended in A&M’s favor, 1,569.34-1,539.67, which sent South Carolina to the consolation bracket against Georgia while A&M galloped its way to the SEC Championship on Saturday afternoon.

Previewing what’s ahead, A&M split the season series with Auburn. In the first matchup on Nov. 10, 2023, the Aggies defeated the Tigers 11-9. On March 9, the Tigers beat A&M, 13-5.

Since 2013, Auburn has had six titles under its belt, winning in 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. On the other hand, A&M is searching for its first title and won’t be looking to horse around.

A&M will host the SEC Championship at Hildebrand Equine Complex on Saturday, March 30 at 2 p.m.

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    Mary HarpoldMar 31, 2024 at 10:08 am

    You need to tell the names of the horses-