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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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One step away
June 8, 2024

A&M equestrian outlasts Baylor in the Battle of the Brazos

Photo by Photo by: Valerie Gunchick
Texas A&M Equestrian

Texas A&M equestrian bounced back from its loss last week to defeat the Baylor Bears Friday. After a close match, the Aggies caught their victory in the final event of the meet to win 10-8 despite a drastic change of event order.

A&M (7-2) led the match 7-6 going into the final event of fences, but Baylor (7-3) quickly took the first point by sheer power 85-72 in the Hildebrand Equine Center Friday afternoon. However, senior Marlena Parker and sophomore Alex Desiderio fired back to gain the second and fourth points for A&M, respectively. The final point of the match came down to freshman Rebekah Chenelle, who rounded out the event and match with an 81-80 victory.

“A lot of the times, the events come down to the reiners,” Texas A&M head coach Tana McKay said. “It was really neat that this came down to this fence riders. They had to learn to deal with that pressure and I thought they handled that pressure really well.”

A&M managed to dominate the opening three points of the match with showings by sophomore Jaci Marley, junior Sarah Kate Grider and senior Hannah Jechow. Seniors Ashley Dotson and Logan Pluhar tied and lost their point, respectively, which put the Aggies up 3-1 through the opening event. Jechow went on to gain the MOP award for her performance, but she said that she said it was a team effort.

“I think everyone was at the top of their game,” Jechow said. “It’s not about me, it’s about the team. It’s great to get the MOP at the end of the day, but the most important thing is that I got my point for my team. That’s the accomplishment that I’m proud of is that I contributed to the team win.”

As quick as A&M was able to take the first round, Baylor clawed its way back to even the score at 4-4 overall with exemplary performances in equitation on the flat. Senior Audrey Gallagher was the only Aggie to gain a point in the event while senior Marlena Parker tied for her point. Gallagher said that hunter seat did very well after it had trouble with Georgia last week.

“Last week we had a lot of great, strong rides,” Gallagher said. “We used this week to continue practicing, do the same things and then hope that the cards fell in our favor. It took some preparation [to have events out of normal order], but once we did that, it was fine; and it’s great practice for postseason because you never know how things are going to be.”

Equestrian now has the chance to rest for a week before taking on the defending national champion South Carolina Gamecocks on the road. The teams will meet in Blythewood, South Carolina at 9 a.m. on February 20.

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