WACO, Texas — The Delaware State equestrian team achieved their highest national ranking in team history, holding the No. 8 spot in the latest National Collegiate Equestrian Association Farnam Team Rankings. New Jersey natives helped get them there.

DSU’s best previous ranking was No. 10 in the 2016-17 NCEA preseason poll.

A victory over highly-regarded Fresno State and a 2-0 conference record helped to propel the Hornets back into the national rankings.

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In the victory over nationally-ranked Tennessee Martin highlighted Delaware State’s sweep of two opponents on the final day of the Hornets’ season opening Texas road swing on Sept. 29. DSU defeated Fresno State 9-6 and posted a 9-7 victory over No. 10 Tennessee Martin to earn a split in four Lone Star State contests to begin the 2018-19 season.

In the Fresno State competition, the Hornets posted a 5-2 victory in the Western rides, while the teams were tied 4-4 in the Hunt Seat contests.

Delaware State earned two Most Outstanding Performer awards in the Fresno State match.

Amber Van Segbrook was MOP in Reining, topping all riders in the competition with a score of 70.5 aboard “Penny.”  Grace Wilson and Shelbe Jarrett of New Alexandria, Pa. also posted Reining wins, while Blayne Bell and Kelsey McArthur were victorious in Horsemanship for the DSU Western team

In the Hunt Seat competition, Sydney Wicklund was Most Outstanding Performer on the Flat, riding “Lista” to a score of 73 for the Hornets.

DSU’s Zoe Kirsch, of Pittstown, N.J., Eva Epstein and Gabrielle Fournier were winners in Fences vs. Fresno State.

Delaware State posted a convincing 6-2 Hunt Seat win to highlight the victory over Tennessee Martin.

Wicklund led a 4-0 Hornet sweep in Fences with a stellar mark of 84 aboard “Petey” to earn MOP honors in the event.

Kirsch, Epstein and Fournier also had winning performances in Fences for DSU vs. Tennessee Martin.

In addition, Kirsch and Epstein earned Hunt Seat points for the Hornets with victories on the Flat.

DSU’s Sam Elliott of Sparta, N.J. was the star of the Horsemanship competition, earning the MOP award after riding “Sweetie” to a score of 73.5 in the contest.

Jarrett also collected a point in Horsemanship, while Van Segbrook was a winner in Reining for the Hornet Western team vs. Tennessee Martin.

Delaware State was unranked before defeating the previous No. 8 Fresno State Bulldogs (9-6) and Tennessee Martin (9-7) in Waco, Tex., the last weekend in September. The victories gave DSU a 2-0 record and first place standing in the 2018-19 United Equestrian Conference race.

The Hornets are 2-2 overall this season, with losses against current No. 4 Baylor and No. 6 Texas Christian.

Auburn remains at No. 1 in the latest poll, followed by Georgia, Texas A&M, Baylor and SMU to round out the top five. Texas Christian is sixth, while Oklahoma State is just ahead of the Hornets at No. 7.

Fresno State and South Dakota State are ninth and 10th, respectively.

FARNAM Top 10 Rankings (October 2, 2018)

  1. Auburn
  2. Georgia
  3. Texas A&M
  4. Baylor
  5. SMU
  6. TCU
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Delaware State
  9. Fresno State
  10. South Dakota State

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