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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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Down to the wire

Photo by Provided by Texas A&M Equestrian

The Aggies saw their season end at the hands of Auburn on Saturday.

Although Texas A&M equestrian claimed MVP awards in all events, it fell just short of avenging their season-opening loss to Georgia. This time at home, the Aggies were outmatched Saturday based on the final few rides of the meet.

No. 4 Texas A&M (6-2) helped No. 2 Georgia (7-1) establish itself in the standings as the top four teams in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA), whom all shared one loss, battled it out Saturday to start the spring portion of competition. As No. 3 Baylor traveled to face No. 1 Auburn, A&M welcomed Georgia to the Hildebrand Equine Center. The final round in the reining event determined the Bulldogs as winners of the big meet Saturday afternoon

“In the hunter seat side, we stuck in there,” Texas A&M head coach Tana McKay said. “They are historically a very, very tough in hunter seat team, so I’m happy with that.”

A 3-0 start to the final event for the Bulldogs was too much for A&M to recover. The match mirrored the result from their first meet of the season on September 25, 2015, where the Bulldogs were also able to take the match 10-9.

“Everybody was definitely trying their hardest and riding well…,” Ellis said. “A little tough luck there at the end; but, personally, when I get in there, I just focus on the absolute best I can do in that moment on that horse.”

Sophomore rider Alex Desiderio and senior rider Marlena Parker captured points in fences to gain an Aggie lead early in the day. Senior Carolyn Day, junior Kaci Fisher and sophomore Avery Ellis notched three consecutive points to assist A&M to a commanding lead before Georgia roped in the final two points of the event. However, a few hiccups in western led to the Bulldogs’ victory.

“On the western side, we made some costly errors 一 and when you’re playing a team like the University of Georgia, you can not make those errors,” McKay said. “So, that kind of got us into a little bit of a hole that we couldn’t get out of.”

After intermission, Georgia barked its way back in equitation on the flat and in reining. The Bulldogs challenged the Aggies by taking the first three points of both events. The Aggies were able to secure an overall one-point lead heading into the last event, but Georgia’s big start to reining halted an A&M comeback.

“Everyone has on and off days, you just have to ride to the best of your abilities,” junior rider and fences MVP Haley Webster said. “…I think we’re going to use this to drive us because losing by such a small amount can make us mad… I think we’re ready [for next week].”
Texas A&M equestrian returns to the Equine Center Friday, February 5, to take on the Big 12-leading Baylor Bears and further determine the top programs in the NCEA.

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