Oct. 18, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. -- The second-ranked Auburn equestrian team returns to action on Saturday when they host the University of Tennessee-Martin in a 10 a.m. matchup, at the Auburn University Horse Center. Admission is free.
The Tigers are coming off a win against Fresno State in the season opener, and look to extend their winning streak. UT-Martin travels to The Plains with a 1-3 record.
“UT Martin is really well coached,” Williams said. “They are not as big of a school as we are, and they are a little newer to this format. But their recruiting gets better every year. Point-for-point they get pretty close; it narrows the gap between each ride.”
The starting lineups will see a little variety this meet with a total of 19 riders competing in the 20 head-to-head matches.
“With non-conference meets we get to spread the wealth a little bit on our roster,” head coach Greg Williams said. “We will ride more riders which makes it a little more fun.”
Starters for equitation over fences will be the same as in the opener when they posted a perfect 5-0 record. Elizabeth Benson, Quincy Hayes, Christina Lin, Demi Stiegler, and Jennifer Waxman all get the nod. Waxman won the Most Outstanding Player in the meet against Fresno State.
Equitation in the flat will feature some riders who will see their first action of the season. While Jennifer Delman and Piper Donnelly rode in the opener, Megan Bifano, Claire Connaghan, and Tory Hoft will be new to the lineup. Hoft, a freshman, will be just the second freshman to join the lineup this year, along with western rider Lacy Watson. Bifano, who has seen time in fences will be competing for the first time in the flat.
Reigning MOP Stephanie Rucci will ride for the Tigers in horsemanship along with Lucy Igoe, Griffin Knight, Danielle Long and Lacy Watson. Igoe rides for the first time this season and fifth time in her Auburn career.
The reining roster looks virtually the same, but with Cheyenne Cracraft out with an illness, Knight gets the call to ride the double. This will be her first reining competition. The Tigers will feature the same remaining four riders from the Fresno competition: Morgan Burns, Julianna Cook, Katsy Leeman and Hailey Munger.
PROMOTIONS: Pony rides, paint-a-pony, a mini jump course and a craft table set with decorating horseshoes will be available for kids throughout the meet. Concessions will be sold during the meet with an updated menu that now includes hot dogs, nachos, hamburgers, pretzels, candy and more.