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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Equestrian advances to SEC Championship final

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Photo by Photo by Josh Gleason

Senior Ashton Dunkel rode Peanut for 66.5 points. 

The Texas A&M Equestrian team defeated the University of Georgia 12-8 on Friday morning to earn a spot in the SEC championship round. Returning to the championship bracket for the first time since the 2015 season, A&M will face the winner of the South Carolina and Auburn match on Saturday in pursuit of its first SEC title.
The No. 2 seeded Aggies started off the hunter seat discipline events with the Equitation of the Flat. Despite struggles in this event against Georgia in their previous two meets, A&M’s riders performed well, earning four of the five points. Strong performances from sophomore Rhian Murphy and senior Rebekah Chanelle earned scores of 249 and 250, respectively, to closed out the event.
Horsemanship kicked off the western disciplines on the day. The Aggies came out strong, earning four points from the event. The horsemanship squad, which features four riders who were a part of the Aggies 2017 national championship team, showed their experience and poise, earning high scores under pressure. Senior Katie Conklin received outstanding marks to earn a team high score of 221 for her ride.
In the second half of the meet, the Aggies took on the Bulldogs in Equitation over Fences. A&M sophomore Caroline Dance got the Aggies in position early with a sensational performance. Following her Equitation of the Flat ride with another stellar showing in Fences, Dance earned her second point of the day for the Aggies. The Aggies took the event 3-2, adding to their lead.
The Aggies’ momentum faltered slightly during Reining with Georgia earning four of the remaining five points for the meet. A&M rallied and finished with Marissa Harrell earning the Aggies only point in the event. Despite the setback, the Aggies’ stellar performances in the other three events of the day allowed them to push past Georgia to earn the win.
The win is a monumental one for the Aggies, who have suffered two close losses to Georgia this season and have struggled in past seasons to improve on a third place finish in conference. The Aggies also snap Georgia’s championship appearance streak, shutting them out of the final round of the SEC championships for the first time since the 2013 season.
The Aggies will compete against the winner of Auburn–South Carolina for the SEC title on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Hildebrand Equine Complex.

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