NO. 7 SMU UPSETS NO. 3 TCU, 9-8
Tied 8-8 with one point remaining, SMU freshman Haley Zimmerman outrode Misty Redd, 74-72, to seal a 9-8 upset over No. 3 TCU Friday at Turning Point Ranch. In her collegiate debut, Zimmerman won both of her rides, and helped SMU to its first win at TCU since adding a western team in 2013.
"It was quite a nail-biter at the end, but I am happy we came out on top," SMU head coach Carol Gwin said. "The TCU coaches, staff and student-athletes ran a wonderful meet and fought a good fight."
Entering the final discipline with an 8-6 lead, TCU claimed the first two points to knot it up. Senior Sylvia de Toledo and sophomore Alexandra Murphy rode to ties, 62-62 and 65-65, respectively, to slow the Horned Frog momentum. Zimmerman sealed the meet with SMU's only equitation on the flat win.
The day started with equitation over fences, where SMU swept the Horned Frogs to take a 5-0 advantage. Freshman Vivian Yowan led off for the Mustangs and used a 78-70 decision to top TCU's Carley Barnett and win her first collegiate point. de Toledo won the second point for SMU and became the all-time career wins leader, with a 79-77 win over Patty Gill. Sophomore Nora Gray secured the discipline win with an 81-80 edge over Jayme Omand, before Zimmerman rolled to an easy 82-40 victory. Senior Alexis Graves rounded off the discipline with an MOP-winning 82-73 win to secure the sweep.
In horsemanship, junior-transfer Keaton Crawford and senior Hannah McCain notched wins to give SMU a 7-3 lead at the halfway mark. In her first collegiate appearance, Crawford posted a discipline high-score, 74.5, to knock off Megan McMullen, 74.5-73. McCain garnered the second point with a 72-68.5 decision over Josie Mootz.
Casey Bibbs won the only SMU point in reining to keep SMU ahead, 8-6. Bibbs used a 70.5 to edge Claire Dittrich, 70.5-69.5. Senior Jaclyn White tied Meloney Morris, 71.0-71.0.
NO. 4 TEXAS A&M TOPS UT-MARTIN IN SEASON OPENER
The No. 4 Texas A&M Equestrian team opened the season with a 12-7 victory over UT Martin on Friday at the McWherter Ag Pavilion.
"Anytime you can go on the road and win on horses that you don't know, it is always a good thing," head coach Tana McKay said. "We saw some good, high scoring rides. They were gracious hosts and ran a good show. There are obviously some things that we need to clean up, and clean up quickly as we have a short week to get ready for South Carolina."
The Aggies (1-0) jumped out to a 3-2 lead following Equitation over Fences as junior Rachael Hake scored the first point of the meet with an 80-77 victory over Brooke Lutzi. Sophomore Adele McKenna followed with a 78-74 win against Savannah Methany, before sophomore Rebekah Chenelle defeated Lauren Kinney, 80-75, earning MOP honors.
In Horsemanship, senior Kaci Fisher was named MOP after leading off with a 72, defeating Madeline Williams' 71.5. Sophomore Sarah Orsak topped Liana Nowak, 73.5-72.5, and junior Bailey Cook defeated Jade Bleskey, 73-70.5, to give Texas A&M a 6-4 advantage at the break.
Senior Izzy Norton earned the first point in Equitation on the Flat with a 77-68 victory over Elise Beauchamp. Junior Maddie Swem bettered Sydney Linter, 64-53.
Texas A&M closed the meet with a 4-1 victory in Reining. Redshirt freshman Ashton Dunkel defeated Madeline Williams, 66.5-64.5, before the Aggies reeled off three consecutive wins. Junior Jaci Marley toppled Liana Nowak, 68-0, and junior Madison Bohman beat Bobbie Piddock, 69-0, earning MOP honors. Senior Sarah McEntire recorded a 64-62.5 victory over Megan Aiosa.
NO. 8 SOUTH CAROLINA TOPS NO. 5 BAYLOR 12-6 TO START 2016-17 CAMPAIGN
The eighth-ranked University of South Carolina equestrian team opened the 2016-17 regular season with a victory, as they dropped fifth-ranked Baylor, 12-6, Friday at One Wood Farm. The Gamecocks improve to 1-0 on the season, with Baylor falling to 0-1.
Though Carolina was solid throughout the competition on Friday, they truly separated themselves from the Bears in equitation over fences. The Gamecocks won all five of the jumping points, building a healthy lead that would eventually carry them to victory.
With the victory, South Carolina has now won two straight meets against foes ranked in the NCEA top-five. They last defeated then-No. 4 Texas A&M, 11-8, on March 26, 2016.
"I think we had a great day today," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "The big thing we were preaching to our girls today was that if things start out well, make sure you finish it. Don't let a very good Baylor team come creeping back in it. If you let that door open up a little bit, they can get in there and beat us. Because we were very strong over fences and in reining, that helped us tremendously. Overall, I'm very pleased."
The Gamecocks started the day by winning three points in reining. Making her official Gamecock debut, freshman Caroline Gute scored a draw in the opening pairing against Baylor's Shyanne Smith, 67.5-67.5, on Blackie. But the next three points went to Carolina. Madison Thiel was a 71-68.5 winner over Elizabeth Shank on Magnum, Paisley Roberts dispatched of Ginger Chant, 70-69, on Jack, and Bailey Walters was a 71-70.5 winner over Georgia Smith on Paddy. At the end of the first segment, the Gamecocks led, 3-1.
Thiel earned M.O.P laurels, the second such honor of her Gamecock career.
South Carolina took command of the meet with a dominant performance in the jumping arena, where they won all five points. Freshman Madison Sellman secured her debut pairing on Cody, 84-75, over Samantha Howell, while riding Indie Lizzie van der Walde knocked off Savannah Jenkins, 80-64. Sydney Smith snuck past Rachel Van Allen, 81-79, on Batman, while Chloe Schmidt was an 81-55 winner over Alicia Gasser on Keaton. Last but not least, Madison Butehorn rode Mango to an 85-76 victory over Brittany Mirkov.
Butehorn collected her first career M.O.P. honor for her performance. The victory was also a career first for the Naples, Fla., native.
The Gamecocks earned a pair of horsemanship points to clinch the match. Ashley Reichert earned the first tally, taking a 73.5-72.5 battle over Charlotte Green on Caper. Later, Megan Overberg secured a 74-63 triumph over Ingrid Lecot in the final pairing, riding Barbie. South Carolina also drew one match in the discipline, with Paige Stopperich and Baylor's Abbi Demel each scoring 67 on Bubbles.
Baylor collected their lone M.O.P. award of the day in horsemanship, with Kaylee Mellott, a 75.5-72.5 winner on Amos, claiming the prize.
Carolina capped a successful day by winning two points in equitation on the flat. Lauren Fabiano got the Gamecocks started right with a 64-60 win over Van Allen in the first pairing, riding Mike. Freshman Katie Mack capped the event with a 64-53 win on Fina over Savannah Jenkins.
Not only was Mack victorious in her first official competition as a collegian; she also pocketed M.O.P. honors on Friday.
• With the victory, South Carolina has won their last two season openers. The Gamecocks sport a 10-4 record in their season debuts since 2003.
• The Gamecocks now hold an 8-6 series advantage over Baylor, including a 5-0 record at One Wood Farm.
• True freshmen making their official collegiate debuts went 2-0 with one tie for the Gamecocks on Friday.