April 6, 2010
AUBURN - The Auburn equestrian team earned two No. 2 seeds and had five individuals qualify for the upcoming Varsity Equestrian National Championships April 15-17 in Waco, Texas. By having two No. 2 seeds, Auburn is the overall highest seeded team going into competition.
The Tigers' western team and the hunter seat team both earned No. 2 seeds in their respective brackets. Both teams were awarded first-round byes and will open competition in the quarterfinals on Friday, April 16 at the Heart O' Texas Coliseum in Waco.
"We are proud of being the highest overall seeded team going into nationals," said Auburn head coach Greg Williams. "However, we plan to take nothing for granted and we will continue to work hard in preparation of turning in even bigger rides."
The Tigers western team will look to take on either 7th-seeded New Mexico State or 10th-seeded South Carolina, while the hunter seat riders will meet the winner of No. 7-seed UT-Martin and No. 10-seed Kansas State. Auburn has already defeated all four potential competitors earlier in the season.
Both competitions will take place the morning of Friday, April 16.
Semifinal action will take place later that evening, with the championship meet to follow on Sunday, April 17.
Auburn has claimed two previous titles at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships. The Hunt Seat team was named National Champions in 2008 and the Tigers took the overall National Champion title in 2006.
The Tigers are seeded second on the western side behind Texas A&M, followed by Oklahoma State, TCU, Georgia, Kansas State, New Mexico State, Fresno State, Baylor, South Carolina, Delaware State and South Dakota State.
Georgia holds the top seed in the hunter seat bracket, followed by Auburn, South Carolina, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Tennessee-Martin, Fresno State, New Mexico State, Kansas State, SMU and TCU.
In addition to the team competitions, each of the four competition sectors will feature an eight-rider, single-elimination championship bracket, and Auburn placed a total of five riders in those fields.
Sophomore Maggie McAlary
earned the No. 1 seed in equitation over fences and will face No. 8 seed Maggie Earle of Texas A&M. Junior Anna Schierholz
was seeded sixth and will take on No. 3 seed Michelle Morris of Georgia.
In equitation on the flat, senior Katie Breedlove was seeded eighth and will compete against No. 1 seed Ally Blais of Oklahoma State.
Freshman Indy Roper was awarded the No. 3 seed in western horsemanship and will take on TCU's No. 6 seed Kelsey Huffman.
To round out the individual competitors, senior Lyndsey Jordan will ride as the No. 8 seed in western reining against No. 1 seed Maggie Gratny of Texas A&M.
All four individual competitions will begin on April 16.
Full brackets for all competitions can be found at www.varsityequestrian.com.