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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 makes it to SEC Championship Final, falls short to Auburn

Senior%26%23160%3BLisa+Bricker%26%23160%3Bhelped+the+Aggies+get+in+the+win+column+against+No.+7+SMU+with+a+score+of+69+in+Reigning.
Photo by Photo by Hannah Shaffer

Senior Lisa Bricker helped the Aggies get in the win column against No. 7 SMU with a score of 69 in Reigning.

Texas A&M equestrian came into the SEC Championship tournament on March 25-26 looking to make history at the Auburn University Horse Center in Auburn, Ala.
With the goal of hoisting the SEC Championship trophy for the first time in school history within reach, the Aggies came up short and watched the host team ride into the sunset with the title.
Day 1
1-seed and No. 3 Texas A&M took care of business against 4-seed South Carolina in the SEC Championship Semifinal on Friday, March 25 with a 12-7 victory.
The Aggies edged the Gamecocks in Fences 3-2 behind a 258-236 win by sophomore Devin Thomas, a 221-183 win by freshman Brooke Brombach and a narrow 242-237 win by senior Haley Redifer. USC junior Jordan Allen was named Most Outstanding Performer, or MOP, for the event with her 257-234 win.
A&M dominated Horsemanship with a 4-1 advantage. Junior Cori Cansdale grabbed a comfortable victory, 226.5-172.5; sophomore Ella Petak won by a dozen, 230-218; senior Hayley Riddle won 223-202.5; and graduate MacKenzie Chapman eked out a single-digit 224-215 win. USC freshman Kendie Herlocker avoided the sweep for the Gamecocks with a 225.5-225 win — the smallest possible margin of victory. Petak claimed MOP honors for the event.
The Aggies kept their momentum going into Flat with another four-point performance. Fifth-year Caroline Dance won 263-241.5, senior Nicole Leonard won 234-222.5, Thomas earned another point with a 253-234.5 win and junior Kaitlyn Lovingfoss won convincingly, 231.5-198. USC sophomore Maya Clarkson won 228.5-223.5 to avoid the sweep for the Gamecocks. Dance was awarded MOP for the event.
South Carolina took Reining, the final event of the competition, 3-1, as senior Lisa Bricker was the only Aggie to earn a point in the event with a close 213-208 win. This event was ultra-competitive, as the Gamecocks earned all three of their points by a combined 6.5-point margin of victory. A&M sophomore and March SEC Rider of the Month Keesa Luers tied with USC sophomore Emilia Reutimann at 213.5. Bricker earned MOP recognition for the event.
A&M won the Jumping Seat events 7-3 and the Western events 5-4 to earn the 12-7 victory.
“I couldn’t be happier on how everyone rode today,” coach Tana McKay told 12thman.com. “This is what we have been preparing for all year long, and now it’s time to keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
Day 2
A&M fell to the 2-seed and No. 2 Auburn 11-8 in the SEC Championship Final on Saturday, March 26. Exactly one month after losing handily to the Tigers 13-4 in the same building, the Aggies came closer to victory, but ultimately failed to win.
Auburn controlled the Fences 4-1 to open the competition, and Thomas was the only Aggie to earn a point for A&M with her 258-236 win. Auburn freshman Sophie Steckbeck was named MOP of the event thanks to her 271-256 win over A&M senior and March SEC Rider of the Month Grace Boston.
The Aggies rallied in Horsemanship with a 3-1 advantage behind a 229.5-220 win for Chapman, a 226.5-218.5 win for Riddle and a tight 224-222 win for Petak. A&M freshman Hanna Olaussen tied with Auburn fifth-year Deanna Green at 228. Chapman claimed MOP honors for the event, and A&M trailed 5-4 halfway through the action.
The Tigers put a halt to the Aggies’ comeback attempt by taking Flat 4-1, and Leonard tallied the only point for the maroon and white with a 210.5-186.5 win. Auburn senior Emma Kurtz was awarded MOP for the event with a high-scoring 268.5-258.5 win over A&M graduate Rhian Murphy.
A&M bounced back 3-2 in Reining, as senior Taylor Masson squeaked out a 214.5-214 win, Luers grabbed a 208.5-192.5 win and junior Emmy-Lu Marsh nailed down a 216-214 win. Marsh’s close victory earned her MOP recognition for the event.
Auburn dominated the Jumping Seat events 8-2, whereas A&M won the Western events 6-3. Ultimately, it was the Tigers who won the competition 11-8 and claimed the SEC Championship for the fourth consecutive season.
“This was a team effort,” Auburn coach Greg Williams told auburntigers.com. “To win this for our seniors and super seniors means a lot, and we are so thankful to do this in front of our Auburn fans. A very special afternoon for a very special team.”
Kurtz, one of the team’s seniors, reflected on the moment and what it took to reach the stage they are at.
“Everyone on this team puts in 110% every single day,” Kurtz told auburntigers.com. “To win four in a row is so special. We all work so hard and wanted to do this together in front of our fans.”
Despite the Aggies’ loss, they have an opportunity that still lies ahead. A&M will conclude its season with the NCEA Championship at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Fla., from April 13-16.
“We are obviously disappointed with the outcome today,” McKay told 12thman.com. “We’ve got to regroup, learn from our mistakes and take advantage of the next couple of weeks to clean some of that stuff up and have the right mindset as we head into nationals.”

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