April 16, 2011
WACO, Texas -
The No. 1 seed hunt seat riders proved their ranking once again, dominating No. 4 Oklahoma State with an 8-0 sweep today and earning a bid to the national championship round Saturday.
The No. 3 seed western riders fell to Kansas State 5-3, tying horsemanship 2-2, but dropping reining 3-1.
The western squad will compete for third place Saturday, facing the No. 4 seed Georgia, who fell to the No. 1 seed Texas A&M in the semi-finals.
The hunt seat riders will also face the Bulldogs, who hold the No. 2 seed in hunt seat competition. This is the fourth consecutive year that Auburn has ridden its way into the championship round. It is the third consecutive year that the Tigers will face the Bulldogs for the national title.
"Once again, Auburn and Georgia meet to battle it out for a national championship," said head coach Greg Williams. "It was just a few weeks ago when we met for the championship round of SECs. I am so proud of these girls and feel that they have set themselves up to when the championship tomorrow."
Riding for the Tigers in equitation on the flat will be freshman Christina Lin, junior Maggie McAlary, sophomore Lindsay Portela and junior Grace Socha. McAlary and Portela are All-American teammates, while Lin and Socha are honorable mention All-Americans.
In equitation over fences, Auburn's McAlary and Socha will join seniors Dottie Grubb and Anna Schierholz in the championship competition. McAlary is also an All-American in the over fences competition, and Schierholz is an honorable mention All-American.
In horsemanship, the Tigers will ride senior Mary Casey, junior Kristin Hansen, sophomore Indy Roper and freshman Stephanie Rucci.
And in reining, Hansen and Roper will team with junior Jillian Fuller and senior Paige Monfore to take on the Bulldogs. Roper is an All-American selection in both reining and horsemanship.
Western competition begins at 8:30 a.m. central, and hunt seat competition begins at 1:30 p.m.