NO. 1 AUBURN REBOUNDS WITH 12-4 WIN AGAINST DELAWARE STATE
The No. 1 Auburn equestrian started and finished strong at Delaware State Saturday morning, defeating the Hornets, 12-4, at the Dovington Training Center.
“I just love this team,” head coach Greg Williams said. “They always keep their attitudes up and really came back today ready to play and rebounded the way we knew they would. We will always look back at yesterday’s results throughout the year to make sure we keep pulling out wins.”
Three Tigers picked up their first MOP honors of the season after the day’s competition. Senior Ashley Foster earned the honor in Equitation on the Flat, while sophomore Caitlin Boyle was recognized for her performance in Equitation Over Fences. Sophomore Ali Fratessa’s meet-high 71 points in Reining gave her the MOP nod.
Auburn (2-1) opened competition with a 7-1 lead, putting together great rides in Equitation Over Fences and Horsemanship. The Hunt Seat crew swept DSU in Fences as Boyle started things off with a her MOP win over Emily Nelson, 79-55. Sophomores Ashton Alexander (74-69) and Hayley Iannotti (84-62) each won their matches and Foster closed out the event with a 75-68 victory.
A trio of Tigers captured wins in Horsemanship. Senior Hannah Stephens topped Shelbe Jarrett, 73.5-53.5, while freshman Kara Kaufmann defeated Angelina Watts, 73-68.5. Junior Kelsey Jung capped the event with a 72-67.5 win over Blayne Bell.
Following intermission, the Equitation on the Flat crew went 3-1 for Auburn. Alexander and Foster each picked up their second wins of the day as Alexander defeated Molly Garra (64-53) and Foster topped Vanessa Rabito with an event-best 80 points. Senior Tory Hoft edged her opponent, 68-67, to close out Hunt Seat’s day.
The Tiger duo of Fratessa and sophomore Blair McFarlin earned Ws for Auburn in Reining. McFarlin kicked the discipline off with a 70.5-0 win and Fratessa’s MOP performance gave her a 71-67.5 victory.
FRESNO STATE EDGES DELAWARE STATE 8-7
The No. 9 Fresno State equestrian team returns home after defeating Delaware State 8-7 on Saturday morning at the Dovington Training Center in Felton, Del., a day after upsetting No. 1 Auburn 11-5. The Bulldogs earned all eight Most Outstanding Player selections this weekend.
"I am very proud of the way we performed," Fresno State head coach Eric Hubbard said. "We always have things we can take away and improve on, but we're very happy to have two wins on the road. We will continue to work on our focus and improve the little things that make huge differences for us in the arena."
The 'Dogs (4-1) began competition against the Hornets (0-2) on Friday afternoon with Reining and Equitation on the Flat. In the Reining event, the teams came out even 2-2, with senior Taylor Brown and freshman Shea Gilson earning points for Fresno State.
Delaware State rode well in Equitation on the Flat, owning a 3-1 advantage in the event, with the Bulldogs' lone point coming from freshman Natalie Wendt. The Hornets would finish on Friday with a 5-3 lead.
On Saturday morning, the 'Dogs saw strong performances in Equitation Over Fences, with sophomore Alexandra Dirickson, freshman Maddy Keck and Wendt each scoring to bring the meet even again at 6-6.
Going into the final event of the competition, Horsemanship, both Delaware State and Fresno State earned points, with junior Rachel Williams scoring a 75.5 to keep it close.
The Bulldogs then looked to their decorated senior, Brown, for her best Horsemanship performance of the season with a 76-74 win to put the 'Dogs ahead and give them their second victory of the weekend.
Brown and Wendt each earned two Most Outstanding Player accolades in the competition. Brown is now 10-0 this season and has nine MOP honors.