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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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Equestrian season comes to an end for A&M

Senior+Rebekah+Chenelle+scored+a+255+in+equitation+on+the+flat+in+the+SEC+Championship+final+on+March+30.
Photo by Cassie Stricker

Senior Rebekah Chenelle scored a 255 in equitation on the flat in the SEC Championship final on March 30.

Texas A&M Equestrian’s title hopes came to an end on Friday at the NCEA Championships. With competition in full swing for individual events, the Aggies were positioned to compete for a title in each of the four disciplines.
To start off the day, A&M faced the South Carolina Gamecocks in the quarterfinals of Equitation over Fences. Strong performances by seniors Rebekah Chenelle and Carolina Dance earned two points for the Aggies in the event. Freshman standout Haley Redifer earned a massive score of 257 to give the Aggies the 3-1 victory.
With the win in Fences versus South Carolina, the Aggies advanced to the semifinals to compete with Auburn, the reigning SEC champion. The semifinal event marked the first meeting between the two since they faced off in the SEC championship finals. With Auburn’s riders making up over of half of the All SEC Fences squad, the competition in Fences was expected to be particularly fierce. Despite strong rides from the Aggies, Auburn took all four points to sweep the event.
The other Hunt Seat discipline of the day, Equitation on the Flat, also featured a competitive matchup. In the quarterfinals, A&M faced the Oklahoma State Cowgirls. Senior Brianna Peddicord earned the first point of the event to put the Aggies up early. Outstanding performances by Rebekah Chenelle and Adele McKenna solidified the 3-1 win for A&M.
The Aggies moved on to the semifinals in the Flat where they faced South Carolina. To start off the competition, South Carolina rider Lizzie Van Der Walde narrowly defeated A&M’s Caroline Dance. The Aggie’s Brianna Peddicord once again performed well, earning A&M’s only point in the matchup. With the 1-3 loss to South Carolina, the Aggies were knocked out of contention for an event title in the Hunt Seat Disciplines
A&M’s run at a title in the Western disciplines was also crushed on Friday through a series of heartbreakingly close losses.
Reining kicked off first, with the Aggies facing the Southern Methodist University Mustangs. A&M’s Darby Gardner and Courtney Yohey rode well in the event to earn two points for the Aggies. With SMU’s riders taking the other two points in the event to tie it, the winner was decided by comparing the raw score totals of both squads. SMU’s 793 points in the event earned them a semifinals berth and spoiled A&M’s chances at a repeat national title in reining.
Coming off a first round bye in the event, the No. 2 seeded Aggies were ready to compete against No. 7 TCU in Horsemanship. TCU’s Jamie Cook struck first, taking a point for TCU. Aggies’ Sarah Orsak and Ashley Davidson performed well to earn two points for A&M. Cydney Benes squeaked by Aggie rider Alex Albright by a half a point margin, taking the final point of the event and evening the score 2-2. Once again, the winner was decided by the riders’ raw scores. In a heartbreaker for the Aggies, TCU came out ahead 864.5-860.5.
While the NCEA tournament losses brought a disappointing end to the Aggie’s season, the 11-6 season record and strong performances versus tough SEC opponents throughout the year give hope to the continued growth and improvement of A&M’s equestrian program.

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