Auburn Equestrian Notebook: Nov. 7

Nov. 7, 2013

Overall Record: 2-0 (0-0, SEC)

Previous Results
Sept. 28 – No. 2 Auburn 15, Fresno State 2
Oct. 19 – No. 2 Auburn 15, UT Martin, 5

Upcoming Events
Nov. 9 – No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 3 South Carolina, 10 a.m. (Auburn Horse Center)

Greg Williams on the SEC opener against South Carolina
Now that we are in SEC competitions, we have to step it up. (This week in practice) They’ll start pushing it a little bit more, get more out of each ride, take a few more risks. But at the same time, we have to make sure we don’t have penalties. That was our problem last year against South Carolina in the SEC Championships, we hurt ourselves with too many penalties.

Top Performers:
Griffin Knight – So. – Madisonville, Texas
-- Knight rode her very first double, taking on both horsemanship and reining. And with that earned MOP honors in both disciplines.
-- She posted a score of 72.5 in horsemanship and 69 in reining.

Megan Bifano – So. – Austin, Texas
-- In her first meet of the year, Bifano scored a career-best 88 in equitation in the flat.
-- She is tied with South Carolina’s Catherine Schmidt for the top score in the flat this year in the SEC.

SEC OPENER: The second-ranked Auburn equestrian team opens conference competition against third-ranked South Carolina, in the first match between the two teams since the SEC Championship finals. South Carolina is 4-2 overall and 0-2 in the SEC, dropping two heartbreakers to Georgia, 9-9, and Texas A&M, 9-10. The Gamecock’s hunt seat rider Katherine Schmidt leads the nation in wins with an 11-1 record and five MOP honors, while senior Johnna Letchworth leads the team on the western side. Schmidt has also posted the top scores in the SEC in fences (89) and flat (88), tied with Auburn’s Megan Bifano.



DOUBLE DUTY: As the Tigers open up SEC action, Coach Greg Williams has put together a lineup that will feature four riders doing double duty. On the English side, Elizabeth Benson, Christina Lin and Demi Stiegler will compete in both fences and flat disciplines, while Griffin Knight will pull a double in reining and horsemanship for the second straight meet. All four lineup selections have paid dividends for Auburn in the past. When Benson, Lin and Stiegler rode doubles against Fresno State, each swept with two wins each, and Knight tallied two wins and two MOP honors when she swept against UT Martin.

SCORE BIG: The second-ranked Auburn equestrian team recorded 15 points for the second straight meet, and for the first time in school history. With 20 total available points each meet, Auburn has dominated its first two opponents in Fresno State and UT Martin. Never in the history of the program have the Tigers posted two scores of 15 in the same season.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS: There are quite a few current student-athletes making their way up the career wins list in the Auburn equestrian record books. Christina Lin has 28 wins in equitation in the flat in her career, which currently ranks third all-time, but is just three from tying the school record of 31 held by Lindsay Portela. Similarly, senior Jennifer Waxman recorded her 30th victory in fences to bring her within three of the school mark of 33 held by Maggie McAlary. Stephanie Rucci will have a tough push to reach the 34 wins recorded by Indy Roper in horsemanship, but with 25 in her career it is possible. In reining, Cheyenne Cracraft has 22 career victories, which is 12 behind Roper’s 34.