Collegiate Equestrian: Auburn Wins National Championship

The Auburn University equestrian team celebrates victory in the 2018 NCEA National Championships. Credits: NCEA

WACO, Texas — The Auburn University equestrian team capped its season by winning the 2018 NCEA team title, followed by wins in the Equitation over Fences and Horsemanship events competitions. Success there helped the Tigers earn the Western and Hunt Seat discipline titles as well. There were seven championships available on April 21 — Auburn went home with five.

Auburn defeated top seeded Georgia for the team championship.

In addition to the team title, the 2018 NCEA National Championship marks the debut of individual event titles.

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In the horsemanship completion, Sophomore Kara Kaufmann, of Belvidere, N.J., put up a solid score of 145 for Auburn, but was bested by Payton Anderson’s 148 to tie the match at 2-2. The Tigers held on to take the match with a 587.5-586.5 raw score win.

Other local riders competed at the nationals.

In the team final, Junior Emma Mandarino of Bedminster, N.J. provided the first point for Georgia in equitation over fences with a 167, countering Hayley Iannotti's 161 but that was not enough for the team to win. Mandarino also won her point in the semi-finals against Texas A&M.

Alex Desiderio, of Chester, N.J. competed for the Texas A&M Aggies. The team fell to Georgia in the semifinals. On day one of the event championship Desdierio defeated Sweet Briar’s Lily Peterson, 157-151 in equitation on the flat.

Delaware State Senior, Emily Nelson of Glenville, Pa. tallied 165 points to give the Hornets the win by the raw scoring total (599-554) in the first round of equitation on the flat over South Dakota State. It was the first national post-season win in the history of the Delaware State equestrian program.

The University of South Carolina equestrian team fell to Georgia on April 19, 11-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2018 NCEA Championship main draw.  Carolina’s jumping victory came from Madison Sellman, of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., a 166-158 winner on Vivaldi over Ali Tritschler. Lauren Fabiano of Malvern, Pa. also competed in the championship.

For complete results see

More NCEA News:

Local Riders Named to APHA NCEA Honor Rolls

NCEA All Academic Teams

See more Equestrian news at

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