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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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McKay, Jechow reflect on Equestrian season

TAMU Equestrian senior Hannah Jechow rides along the course.
Photo by Courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics

TAMU Equestrian senior Hannah Jechow rides along the course.

After a rough start to the postseason, the Texas A&M equestrian team rebounded nicely to find itself three rounds deep in this year’s NCEA National Championship in Waco.

After two tough losses in the SEC Championship, the Aggies returned to balance their postseason record with two wins in the NCEA championship tournament. However, the Aggies came to fall at the hands of No.1 Auburn in the semifinals of the tournament.

Head coach Tana McKay reflected on the season and said that she was proud of her teams’ performance in their loss to eventual champion Auburn.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team and how hard we fought this season,” McKay said, according to the 12thman.com. “We had some great consistent rides again [during semifinals] that were mistake free. Our girls fought hard and I just couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The team will now have to say goodbye to a star-studded senior class of talent that includes riders like Ashley Dotson, Hannah Jechow and Marlena Parker. However, the team can look forward to leadership from juniors Sarah Kate Grider and Kaci Fisher and freshman Rebekah Chenelle.

After her first start of the season in equitation on the flat at nationals, Chenelle said she looks forward to coming back and riding next season.

“That was the only time I had competed at flat,” Chenelle said. “You always have to prove yourself, being a freshman. It was fun, you just go out there and leave it all out there. If you lose you lose, if you win you win, but you just have to go out and not apologize for being there.”

Chenelle went on to earn the only point for A&M in equitation on the flat in the semifinals against Auburn, but the Aggies fared better in reining with prized performances by Jechow, Dotson and Grider. After gaining the sole Aggie point in equitation over fences, Parker was one of the three A&M riders to gain NCEA All-Championship Team.

“It was definitely a great thing to go out of [my] four years with that award,” Parker said. “To be surrounded by such great teams, and such great riders that I look up to ― and to be receiving that award, it was definitely an honor. Going into all of the rounds at nationals, one thing I always thought of was, ‘No matter what happens, we’ve got to leave some big shoes to fill for this team.’”

As for the future of the team, senior All-American and NCEA All-Championship team member Logan Pluhar looks to remain with the Aggies — although she won’t be competing for A&M anymore — but coaching instead.

“My next step ― I’m going to intern with our director of operations Lindsey Quisenberry,” Pluhar said. “I’m going to student coach during my internship, [and] graduate in December. I really hope to impact the equestrian sport and become a coach later on. I want it to be more well-known and the amount of skill and talent it takes to do what we do, and being recognized as a sport and respected as a sport.”McKay

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