WACO, Texas – The conference championships concluded and the bracket for the National Collegiate Equestrian Association’s national tournament has been set. Local riders helped their teams get on the bracket.
The National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships take place April 17-20 in Waco, Texas.
On March 30, the No. 1 Auburn Tigers bested Texas A&M, 11-6, to win the program’s second Southeastern Conference championship.
“This is such an exciting time for the Auburn Tigers,” head coach Greg Williams said. “We’ve set our sights on this the last couple years and it feels really good to bring this title back home to Auburn. The competition in the SEC is just the best and if you can win here, you can anywhere in the country. All four teams are capable of winning the national championship so this is really special.”
With the win, the Tigers moved to 15-0 on the season and have their sights now on the national crown.
On the first day of the championship, Junior Kara Kaufmann of Belvidere, N.J. earned Auburn’s final point in horsemanship with 202 points. On the second day she tied her opponent at 215.5.
Texas A&M Equestrian opened the first round of the SEC Championship with a 12-8 victory over No. 2-seed Georgia. They earned the second seed in the national championships.
In the meet’s first event, Equitation on the Flat, the Aggies wasted no time jumping out to a 3-0 lead, with Caroline Dance, of Westchester, Pa. earning one of those victories. Dance defeated her opponent 183-159.
Top-seeded and No. 4 Baylor equestrian (9-4) edged host and No. 3 Oklahoma State to claim its fourth Big 12 title in program history on March 30 at Totusek Arena in Stillwater, Okla.
The top-seeded Bears went 2-0 over the weekend and ultimately won the tiebreaker score of 4,408 to 4,012.8 after being tied 10-10 after the meet. It's the second title in three seasons but the first under second-year head coach Casie Maxwell.
In equitation over fences Madison Day, of Brick, N.J. (160 on Ginger) collected a point for the Bears.
At the conclusion of the meet, six Bears were awarded a league-best seven postseason honors. Day was named the Equitation over Fences Rider of the Year and earned All-Big 12 honors in fences and equitation on the flat. She was also named to the All-Big 12 flat team.
On the first day of the conference championships Baylor knocked out third-seeded TCU with an 11-8 victory. In equitation over fences Day securing the lone point with a 172 on Phia.
The second-seeded Oklahoma State equestrian team began the second round of the Big 12 Championships with a 9-1 start through two events against TCU on Friday at Totusek Arena.
The Cowgirls swept Equitation on the Flat, 5-0, with freshman Sydnie Ziegler, of Quakertown, Pa. one of the point earners.
The Delaware State equestrian team fell short in its bid for a berth in the United Equestrian Conference championship competition. The second-seeded Hornets fell to No. 3 Fresno State 9-7 in the tournament semifinals on March 22.
DSU’s performance was highlighted by a 3-1 victory in the Reining. Shelbe Jarrett of New Alexandria, Pa. topped all Reining riders with a score of 136.0 to earn a point for the Hornets.
Jarrett and Zoe Hirsch of Pitttown, N.J. were also among the 18 members of the Delaware State equestrian team honored for their work in the classroom. They were named to the UEC All-Academic First Team.
While Delaware did not make the team championships the school will be sending riders to compete in individual events. Under the NCEA tournament format devised last year, event championships were added, allowing schools to vie for national titles in Hunter Seat Equitation over Fences, Equitation on the Flat, Western Horsemanship and Reining even if the team did not qualify.
The top eight programs in the country will also vie for the 2019 overall team championship.
In other news, the United Equestrian Conference announced its Riders of the Week on April 1.
Lilly Ulrich of Rochester, N.Y. who rides for UC Davis was named Equitation Over Fences Rider Of The Week.
She earned an 80-73 road victory against No. 9 Fresno State on March 30. Her jumping score was the team-high event score and the second highest jumping score of the meet.
To learn more about the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, visit www.collegiateequestrian.com or follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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