AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 2 Auburn equestrian team picked up its third-straight win over a Top 5 opponent, defeating Southeastern Conference rival and No. 3 Texas A&M, 11-7, Saturday afternoon at the Auburn University Equestrian Center. The win moved the Tigers to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in SEC competition.
“This group has been performing so well as a team,” head coach Greg Williams said. “They worked so hard to pull out this win and never quit. This was a good win for us because it once again solidified that we are good enough to ride with anybody and we’re ready to go again next weekend.”
It was a tight contest right to the end as Auburn held an 8-7 lead over TAMU with Reining remaining. Freshman Terri-June Granger and junior Blair McFarlin each picked up a tie to kick things off before freshman Deanna Green earned her first career win in the event, 66.5-65.5, to give the Tigers a 9-7 advantage.
The next match proved a big one in many respects as senior Alexa Rivard had to top Aggie Madison Bohman’s 72.5. After a solid ride on Nash, the Suwanee, Ga., product was awarded a 73 to secure the team win and also earn Most Outstanding Performer for the event.
In addition, the victory gave Rivard her 35th career win on the Plains, pushing her past Indy Roper’s 34 (2009-13) and into first place in the Auburn record book for career reining wins.
“Every time I have walked out of the locker room, I would see Indy’s name at the top with 34,” Rivard said. “I have looked up to her forever because she is an amazing ride and amazing leader. I wanted that spot so much and it feels really good to finally get there.”
“We’re so proud of Alexa and it’s fun to see this happen for her,” Williams added. “Indy Roper was an Auburn great both in the arena and out of the arena and Indy really helped Alexa become the great leader that she is in both areas of the team. This really is special.”
Junior Betsy Brown capped the discipline with a 71-70 victory over Ashton Dunkel, giving the team its 11th point. The win also gave Brown her team-leading sixth on the season.
The two rivals battled to a 5-5 tie at intermission after great rides in both Equitation on the Flat and Horsemanship.
The Flat crew put together a 4-1 performance as a team over the Aggies. Junior Ashton Alexander earned MOP honors with an 85-72 victory vs. Brianna Peddicord. Junior Caitlin Boyle picked up her team-leading ninth win in the event with 75 points, while classmate Hayley Iannotti got her seventh win of the season with a 59-50 victory. Freshman Taylor St. Jacques remained undefeated in Flat, topping Alex Desiderio, 74-69.
Junior Lauren Diaz picked up a victory for Auburn in Horsemanship for her sixth win of the season. She bested Sarah Orsak, 73-72. The Aggies took the event with a 4-1 overall mark.
In Equitation Over Fences, Auburn edged TAMU, 3-2, to help give the Reining corps the lead for the final event. Alexander secured the sweep in Hunt Seat MOPs, earning a meet-best 87 points in her win. St Jacques edged Desiderio once again with an 82-79 victory, while Boyle picked up 85 points for the W.
Auburn remains home for its final SEC contest of the regular season, taking on No. 8 South Carolina. The Tigers and the Gamecocks will face off at 11 a.m. CT Saturday, Feb. 24, at the Auburn University Equestrian Center.
#2 AUBURN 11, #3 TEXAS A&M 7
Equitation on the Flat
Caitlin Boyle (AU) def. Rachael Hake (TAMU), 75-66
Ashton Alexander (AU)* def. Brianna Peddicord (TAMU), 85-72
Rebekah Chenelle (TAMU) def. Caitlin Creel (AU), 65-62
Hayley Iannotti (AU) def. Maddie Swem (TAMU), 59-50
Taylor St. Jacques (AU) def. Alex Desiderio (TAMU), 74-69
Equitation Over Fences
Caitlin Boyle (AU) def. Rhian Murphy (TAMU), 85-40
Taylor St. Jacques (AU) def. Alex Desiderio (TAMU), 82-79
Ashton Alexander (AU)* def. Rebekah Chenelle (TAMU), 87-76
Caroline Dance (TAMU) def. Hayley Iannotti (AU), 84-75
Rachael Hake (TAMU) def. Alex Ladove (AU), 81-77
Bailey Cook (TAMU) def. Kara Kaufmann (AU), 74-73.5
Alex Albright (TAMU) def. Taylor Searles (AU), 73-67.5
Lauren Diaz (AU) def. Sarah Orsak (TAMU), 73-72
Ashley Davidson (TAMU) def. Kelsey Jung (AU), 74.5-72
Avery Ellis (TAMU)* def. Deanna Green (AU), 75.5-72.5
Terri-June Granger (AU) tied Kalee McCann (TAMU), 60-60
Blair McFarlin (AU) tied Courtney Yohey (TAMU), 64-64
Deanna Green (AU) def. Haley Franc (TAMU), 66.5-64.5
Alexa Rivard (AU)* def. Madison Bohman (TAMU), 73-72.5
Betsy Brown (AU) def. Ashton Dunkel (TAMU), 71-70
* - Denotes Most Outstanding Performer