AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 3 Auburn equestrian team signed another talented class as six student-athletes are set to join the program for the 2018-19 season, head coach Greg Williams announced Wednesday.
Joining the Tigers on the Western side of competition is Ellie Becker (Bellevue, Wash.), Emma Brown (Zanesville, Ohio), and Peyton Hall (Shreveport, La.).
The Hunt Seat corps will add Emma Kurtz (Hudson, Ohio), Meghan Knapic (Smithtown, N.Y.), and McKayla Langmeier (East Granby, Conn.).
Hometown: Bellevue, Wash.
High School: Newport
Highlights: 2017 AjPHA World Championship Show Champion in Bareback Western Horsemanship … Zone One Champion and Circuit Champion Novice Youth Western Horsemanship … Zone Two Reserve Champion Youth Western Horsemanship 18 & Under… 2017 AjPHA Championship Show Top 5 Novice Youth Trail… 2017 AjPHA Championship Show Top 10 Novice Youth Western Horsemanship… 2016 APHA Zone One Novice Youth All Around Champion… Multiple show high point championships in Novice Youth and Youth 14-18 classes throughout the Northwest.
Williams on Becker: “Ellie has had a lot of success in the Northwest. When we had an opportunity to see her in camp, she sold us on not only her riding ability but her work ethic as well. She will fit in the team here very quickly.”
Hometown: Zanesville, Ohio
High School: Bishop Rosecrans
Highlights: 2017 Quarter Horse Congress Champion in 15-18 Trail … 2017 Quarter Horse Congress Reserve Champion in Level 1 Horsemanship … 2017 NSBA World Champion in 14-18 Trail and Level 1 Horsemanship… Top 10 finish at the AQHYA World Show… 2016 AQHA Trail High Point Winner… Multiple top 5 finishes at the Quarter Horse Congress and the NSBA World Show.
Williams on Brown: “Emma has posted some of the largest wins a youth can garner prior to college. I think, as coaches, what we are most excited about is her ability to adjust and handle a variety of horses.”
Hometown: Shreveport, La.
High School: Caddo Parish Magnet
Highlights: 2017 Fall Classic Youth Reining – 1st L1 … 2017 Dixie National Champion – AQHA Youth Boxing … 2017 Dixie National Quarter Horse Show – 5th NRHA Rookie I Reining… 2017 AQHA Youth World Show Ranch Riding Finalist…Second at the 2017 Fall Classic L1 Youth Reining… 2017 Dixie National Reserve Champion AQHA L1 Youth Ranch Riding… First at the 2017 Fall Classic Youth Ranch Riding… 2016 second L1 Youth Reining at the Sugar Bowl Extravaganza… 2016 second L1 Youth Reining at the Go South for the Winter.
Williams on Hall: “We knew Peyton was a solid reiner, but when we had a chance to see her on a variety of horses we knew she was college athlete material. Peyton will have the ability to adjust from the seasoned reining horses to the really tough ones.”
Hometown: Smithtown, N.Y.
High School: Smithtown
Event: Hunt Seat
Highlights: 2017 Seventh in Washington Jumper Phase at Devon … 2017 Zone 2 Final Junior Hunter Reserve Champion … 2017 HITS Circuit Champion in the Children’s Jumpers … 2016 10th Overall Junior Hunter Finals … 2016 Team Gold/Individual Bronze Zone 2 Children’s Jumper Finals … 2016 Winner of HITS Culpepper Equitation Classic … 2016 HITS Circuit Champion in the Junior Hunters … 2016 and 2017 qualifier for USEF Medal Finals and ASPCA Maclay Finals.
Williams on Knapic: “Meghan is a great rider that we have been able to track for awhile since we recruited her older sister to ride at Auburn. Having her talent here is exciting, but I like knowing that she already knows our system, completely buys into the team culture demanded here at Auburn, and completely fits in with the current team as evident by the early time she has spent with them.”
Hometown: Hudson, Ohio
High School: Hudson
Event: Hunt Seat
Highlights: 2017 Winner of the North American Equitation Championship at Capital Challenge … 2017 second in the Jumper Phase at the WIHS Junior Equitation Final… 2017 eleventh at USEF Medal Finals and the WIHS Junior Equitation Final… 2017 second at Maclay Regionals…2017 Winner of the Zone 5 Equitation Championship… 2017 Zone 5 Sportsmanship Award… 2017 Christy Conrad Leading Equitation Rider at WEF…2017 Grand Champion Junior Hunter at WIHS… 2017 Best Junior Rider on a Horse at Devon… 2017 tenth in the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship at WEF… Eighth at 2016 WIHS Junior Equitation Finals … Second at 2016 Hunterdon Cup… Fifth at 2016 USEF Medal Finals.
Williams on Kurtz: “When you read Emma’s resume, she is the ‘Who’s Who’ for winning in the equestrian world. As Coach Jessica Braswell told me, her list of accomplishments are ridiculous. Emma is an unbelievable talent to add to the program.”
Hometown: East Granby, Conn.
High School: East Granby
Event: Hunt Seat
Highlights: 2017 Winner of Plat. Perf. USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals East … First at the 2017 PA National Horse Show in the Under 25 Grand Prix … First at 2017 Spruce Meadows (Calgary, Canada) in Under 25 Grand Prix… 2017 Winner of the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship at WEF… Second in the 2017 WIHS Junior Equitation Final… 2016 Best Junior Rider on a Horse at Devon… 2016 Winner of the $5,000 Devoucoux Hunter Prix at HITS Saugerties… 2015 winner of ASCPA Maclay Finals… Winner of the New England Junior Equitation Championship… Team gold medal winner at Young Riders.
Williams on Langmeier: “McKayla was born into the horse world. Having parents that are professionals in the business, coupled with her natural ability has forged McKayla into one of the strongest junior riders in the country. I look for McKayla to have an impact early.”