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The Battalion

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

The Battalion

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No. 1 Equestrian returns to action on the road against New Mexico State

Equestrian
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Equestrian

 
The Aggies (5-1, 2-1 SEC) remain at the top of the country’s leaderboard going into the winter portion of the 2016-17 season. The women have been out of action since early November and have not been on the road since October 22. A&M will kick off the New Year against NMSU. Aggies (3-4) this Saturday as they work their way towards March’s SEC Championship.
“Well the girls got a good break,” head coach Tana McKay said. “We didn’t have a lot of practice. We talked about keeping up with fitness over the break but they also needed a mental break and our horses needed a mental break as well. I think everyone’s come back refreshed and ready to really hit the ground running. In the first time back the horses are always a little out of shape and you have to plan your practices accordingly but what I have seen is the girls have been diligently working with the hours that they have had.”
A&M has not faced off in Las Cruces since 2011 which resulted in a 12-7 victory for the Texas Aggies. The meeting is bitter sweet as McKay said the New Mexico State Athletic Department announced that it would discontinue their sponsorship of the equestrian team once the 2016-17 season concluded. This will make these next few months the last time NMSU saddles up for Division-1 competition.
“It’s a little challenging because of that but our girls are really rallying around them and have been very supportive of them,” McKay said. “We’re looking forward to going out there. The biggest challenge of going out there is it’s a set of horses that we really don’t know much about at all. That’ll be a test for our riders to go on a set of horses that are really new to them.”
Following A&M’s trip to NMSU, the Aggies have a grueling schedule ahead of them. With five of the six remaining opponents in the season currently residing in the nation’s top 10, the Aggies hit the road to the SEC Championships in Auburn, Alabama on March 24.
“This is just prep for post season,” McKay said. “The fact that we have those tough competitions to me is a good thing. We’ve got a couple road ones and a couple home ones so I like that that will kind of even it out. I think where [we] stand now and looking to post season, that’s a welcome challenge. Our work’s cut out for us for sure but we want that hard work. It’ll only prepare us more for post season.”
The ladies will saddle up 11 AM Saturday morning in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

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