April 19, 2007
WACO, Texas - Baylor's Western equestrian team upended fourth-seeded and defending Overall National Champions Auburn Thursday afternoon in the Varsity Equestrian National Championships at the Heart O' Texas Fair Complex in Waco, Texas. Baylor's eighth-seeded riders upset the Tigers 6-2 in their first consolation bracket competition and now BU will face third-seeded Big 12 rival Kansas State in the race for Western fifth place Fri., April 20 beginning with Horsemanship at 8:30 a.m.
The action began with Reining in the afternoon where BU quickly posted three points to Auburn's one. Nicole McCoy (135.5) , Amanda Graber (135.5) and Madelyn Mooney all defeated their Tiger opposition to give Baylor a cushion heading into Horsemanship. Mooney was scored the show-high 144.5 on her Reining ride.
Graber (142.5) chalked up another point as the first Baylor Horsemanship rider while Ashleigh Brown, tying the show-high with her 143-point ride, and Allison Orosz (141.5) tacked on two more points to seal Baylor's 6-2 national champion upset.
"I'm so excited for out Western team. They have worked hard and pushed and have been rewarded. I'm very proud of them," said head coach Ellen White.
Assistant coach Trista Armstrong added, "Each girl really deserves this success. It's not just the girls who rode today or will ride tomorrow but all of our Western riders earned this win. I am so proud."
Baylor's sixth-seeded Hunter Seat team was unfortunately handed a 6-2 loss by second-seeded conference foe Oklahoma State in the Bears' first consolation round. Sophomore Shelby White earned both of Baylor's English points in the show against the Cowgirls. White scored 148 on the Flat and 154.7 over Fences.
"We were sticky on Fences again this afternoon. We opened the door for [the Cowgirls] and they came right through it. I thought our flat rides were better than they were scored but that's just part of this sport.; it's a very subjective sport. But we've been riding hard for two days with a young team. Overall I am really pleased with our girls," said White.
The Hunter Seat Bears will compete at Friday against eighth-seeded Fresno State fighting for seventh place. Baylor finished eighth as a premier program last year at the championships in Albuquerque, N.M.
In complete championship news, the South Carolina Gamecocks, the reigning Hunter Seat National Champions, have already sealed the Overall National Championship title by advancing in both Hunter Seat and Western brackets to the championship round. South Carolina will face 2002, 2003 and 2004 Hunter Seat National Championship team Georgia to hopefully reclaim its discipline title. In the Western bracket, the Gamecocks ride against 2005 Western National Championship program Texas A&M.
Baylor's equestrian action continues Friday morning and full tournament results will be available at www.baylorbears.com.