April 16, 2009
WACO, Texas - The No. 3 Baylor equestrian team completed the first day of the 2009 Varsity Equestrian National Championships. The sixth-seeded Lady Bears defeated 11th-seed Fresno State 5-2 in the first round of Western riding, but trail third-seeded Georgia in Reining, 4-0, going into Friday morning action. After receiving a first-round bye, the No. 4 Hunter Seat team triumphed 3-1 over No. 5 seed Texas A&M in Equitation over Fences.
"We've only done four rides on the English side, but they've done really well," head coach Ellen White said. "It's not like A&M is a bad team, they finished number two last year. The girls need to stay focused and stay hungry."
Baylor defeated Fresno State 5-2 in the first round of Western riding. Juniors Allison Orosz (147.5) and Madelyn Mooney (146) posted the highest scores of the day in Horsemanship and Reining, respectively.
"It felt really good because I've been in a slump the last few shows, but something finally sparked up and I drew a really nice horse," Mooney said. "I think the whole team is coming together, especially with the seniors getting ready to leave."
In Horsemanship, Lindsay Douglas (145.5-141) and Meghan Murphy (141-125.5) also tallied points against the Bulldogs. Freshman Amber Mooney edged past Fresno State's Haley Henderson 127-123 in Reining, claiming her fourth consecutive win. Horsemanship between Baylor and Georgia will continue Friday at 11 a.m.
"Georgia is a very strong team and are one of the solid older programs," White said. The Lady Bears entered Hunter Seat competition facing Texas A&M in Equitation over Fences. Senior Nicole Brown added her twelfth win of the season in her ride against Kristi Waldal (159-155). Freshmen Lisa Goldman (156-149.5) and Kara Fergusson (140-135) also had winning rides. Equitation on the Flat will commence tomorrow at 8:30 a.m.
"I have very strong flat riders that are very accurate and very good horsemen, so that if there is a difficult horse they can get it done," White said.