March 30, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. -
The second-ranked Auburn equestrian team fell just short in the inaugural Southeastern Conference Equestrian Championship title, falling to South Carolina, 10-8, Saturday at the Auburn University Horse Center.
“Yesterday I thought we performed fairly well and had some things we needed to improve on, but we just didn’t get it done today,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. “We made a lot of easy mistakes, some very uncharacteristic mistakes, and this is certainly not the place you can do it. I think we have played South Carolina closer this year than any other team. Looking at the raw scores, it was almost a virtual tie all the way through. There are so many things we wish we could have done that just hurt right now. Our hats are off to South Carolina for not making those kinds of mistakes and capitalizing on ours and pulling out a victory.”
The Tigers fell, 6-4, in Hunt Seat and tied, 2-2, in Western. Auburn picked up three of the four Most Outstanding Player awards in the championship round with Elizabeth Benson winning for equitation over fences, Indy Roper for horsemanship and Cheyenne Cracraft for reining.
South Carolina took a narrow 5-4 lead at the half as the Gamecocks won over fences, 3-2, but tied with Auburn in horsemanship at two apiece.
The Tigers earned points over fences from Christina Lin (163-160) and Benson (161-159).In horsemanship, Katsy Leeman (144-141.5) and Indy Roper (148.5-144) won their points for Auburn.
South Carolina continued to turn out strong rides in the final two events, but it came down to the last ride in reining to determine the championship title.
The Gamecocks won the flat, 3-2, as Auburn earned points from Jennifer Delman (147-146) and Lin (155-138). The teams once again tied, 2-2, in reining, with Leeman (140.5-138.5) and Cracraft (143.5-139.5) collecting the final two points for the Tigers.
Roper was honored as a member of the SEC All-Championship Team for reining as voted on by the league’s head coaches.
Auburn returns to action at the 2013 National Collegiate Equestrian Association National Championships, April 18-20, at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas.
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