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

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

The Battalion

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A&M equestrian preps for pair of weekend opponents


Equestrian will match up with New Mexico State and Delaware State this weekend.

No. 8 Texas A&M will host No. 10 New Mexico State and unranked Delaware State in this weekend’s double-header competition at the Hildebrand Equine Complex.
The Aggies (3-3, 1-3 SEC) kick off the weekend against Delaware State before serving as a neutral-site host for a competition between the two visiting squads. Saturday morning, A&M will be back in the saddle to ride against New Mexico State in a clash of the Aggies.
“We’ve actually never done it,” said head coach Tana McKay. “It’s going to be tough having two competitions back-to-back. It’s tough having to remember all the different patterns we’ll use for both days, and just a longer weekend for the girls and horses.”
A pair of riders brought honors to the team preceding the start of the semester. Junior Logan Pluhar was named the Horsemanship Co-Rider of the Month after a successful November. Pluhar was invited to compete in the AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge where she won second place.
“Logan’s 4-1,” McKay said. “She had a really good November. She’s [one of] our mentally strongest riders. She’s a very tough competitor and she does both events which makes it a lot more difficult.
Junior Kaci Fisher will participate in the 2015 Sun Circuit Horsemanship Invitation. Just one of eight collegiate riders invited to the competition, Fisher has claimed two MVP awards during her undefeated 2014-2015 season.
“[Fisher] has made leaps and bounds, and has become just a fierce competitor,” McKay said. “This sport is very much mental and they kind of have to get their feet wet and see how they handle the mental part of the game. That’s actually been one of her strengths, being very mentally tough. She’s got the best record out of the horsemanship. This is the second year they’ve actually done the invitational so it’s a little bit new. The schools get invited and we get to pick what rider gets to go.”
This weekend will be the team’s first competition in more than two months. McKay said the team is looking to shake the rust off before priming for this double-header meet.
“The girls had a pretty good break over the holidays,” McKay said. “We’ve been back in practice now three weeks. I feel like we were on a good note last semester and we picked up pretty much right where we left off.”
The Aggies will travel to Waco next weekend for a battle with undefeated No. 1 Baylor. Pulling off a victory would ensure a significant climb in the rankings before the SEC and National Championships. However, the women are focused on DSU and New Mexico State, taking things one week at a time.
“The thing about our sport is we’re not going to change the game plan based on a competing team,” McKay said. “We have a job to take care of and that job stays the same every meet. We just have to ride our horses better than our competitors. Now we do have to start thinking about the horses. We haven’t been there in two or three years so I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of new horses so that’s going to be a big challenge for us. But we’ll get time to see the horses warm up and we’ll be as prepared as we can.”
The Aggies compete at 10 a.m. Friday and Saturday morning.

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