March 27, 2014
WACO, Texas – The Baylor equestrian team will shoot for a Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2010, and the Bears will play host to the two-day event Friday and Saturday at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
No. 6 Baylor (8-5, 3-3) will face No. 9 TCU (6-6, 3-3) Friday morning while No. 3 Oklahoma State (8-3, 3-3) and No. 5 Kansas State (9-4, 3-3) square off. The winners advance to the championship meet Saturday morning while the losers of Friday’s meet will have a consolation meet Saturday. Events for both days will begin at 10 a.m.
“We have got everything ready to roll. Everything is looking good; the girls are looking good, so I am planning on a successful weekend,” said head coach Ellen White. “We are looking forward to it, this is a new time for Big 12, it is the most neutral site it can be for us with everyone riding different horses and every school picking a different judge.”
The rules White alluded to are a change from the past. All four schools were able select one judge while all four teams will also travel its own horses rather than use host school’s horses, which was done in previous Big 12 Championship meets.
“The schools are all going in at 3-3 in Big 12 meets,” said White. “We are all going in evenly matched, and whoever wins this really deserves the title.”
This season, Baylor is 7-1 at home falling only to Auburn, 10-9 Nov. 22. Against Big 12 competition, the Bears are 3-0 at home with wins over all three schools. However, the Bears dropped all three road contests to OSU, KSU and TCU.
OSU is the only Big 12 team to win the event more than once, and the Cowgirls come in as two-time defending champs. Texas A&M, now a member of the SEC, won the event in 2011, Baylor beat A&M in 2010 for its only title, and OSU won the inaugural event in 2009.
With Baylor dropping three of its last four matches, a title for the Bears, who were once ranked No. 1 in the NCEA this season, would go a long way in improving its seeding for the NCEA National Championships. The NCEA meet will also be in Waco April 17-19.