The top-ranked Texas A&M equestrian team brought home the program's first Big 12 title as the Aggies recorded an 11-4 victory over No. 4-ranked Oklahoma State in the finals of the Big 12 Championships at the Brazos County Expo Complex.
The A&M western team swept all eight rides on the day, while the Aggie hunter seat squad came within an eyelash of its ninth victory of the year. All four schools that sponsor equestrian in the Big 12, which began awarding championships in 2009, are ranked in the top seven nationally. The Aggies improved to 12-1 on the season with the victory.
"Winning the Big 12 Championship is huge to us because our conference is so tough," head coach Tana McKay said. "To come out and ride like we did, especially with all the preparation and work that goes into hosting a championship, is huge. I couldn't be any prouder of the entire team. They did a fantastic job."
In the first half of the show, the horsemanship squad got things rolling with sophomore Carey Nowacek, junior Amanda Brightwell, junior Katie Lisabeth and senior Randi Standley all picking up victories. Lisabeth was named MVP following her strong 156-152.5 win over Marissa Dalton.
The reiners carried the momentum into the back half of action, with Standley, senior Tara Christiansen, sophomore Becca Murray and junior Abigail Grabein topping their Cowgirl opponents. Standley's combined score of 142 earned her a win over OSU's Christy McElreath and was the Aggies' championship-clinching ride.
The western team's blanking of the Cowgirls (8-6) was a Big 12 championship first. It was only the second clean sweep by A&M's western riders in school history and the first since February of 2007.
The A&M hunter seat squad picked up two points over fences, with sophomore Kori Pickett (159-140) and sophomore Emily Williams (164-150) comfortably defeating their opponents. In addition, senior Brooke Coleman earned a 155-all tie against her foe, OSU's Ellie Sparks. On the flat, junior Maggie Earle topped the Cowgirls' Allison Rose, 161-140, to close out the scoring.
BIG 12 EQUESTRIAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Friday, April 1
Semifinal: No. 1 Texas A&M 10, No. 4 Kansas State 6
Semifinal: No. 2 Oklahoma State 10, No. 3 Baylor 6
Saturday, April 2
Championship: No. 1 Texas A&M 11, No. 2 Oklahoma State 4
Third-Place: No. 3 Baylor 9, No. 4 Kansas State 6
CHAMPIONSHIP: TEXAS A&M 11, OKLAHOMA STATE 4
HUNTER SEAT: Oklahoma State 4, Texas A&M 3
Equitation over Fences: Texas A&M 2, Oklahoma State 1
Kori Pickett (TAMU) def. Erin Prutow (OSU), 159-140
Brooke Coleman (TAMU) tied Ellie Sparks (OSU), 155-155
Emily Williams (TAMU) def. Sammy Elser (OSU), 164-150
Alice White (OSU) def. Lia Chafee (TAMU), 160-105
Equitation on the Flat: Oklahoma State 3, Texas A&M 1
Ellie Sparks (OSU) def. Elizabeth Solch (TAMU), 150-146
Jordan White (OSU) def. Kristin Bell (TAMU), 165-151
Alice White** (OSU) def. Lia Chafee (TAMU), 165-147
Maggie Earle (TAMU) def. Allison Rose (OSU), 161-140
WESTERN: Texas A&M 8, Oklahoma State 0
Horsemanship: Texas A&M 4, Oklahoma State 0
Carey Nowacek (TAMU) def. Lauren Halvorson (OSU), 151-145.5
Amanda Brightwell (TAMU) def. Mamie Tomlin (OSU), 151.5-148.5
Katie Lisabeth** (TAMU) def. Marissa Dalton (OSU), 156-152.5
Randi Standley (TAMU) def. Ashley Kennedy (OSU), 150.5-150
Reining: Texas A&M 4, Oklahoma State 0
Tara Christiansen (TAMU) def. Jenna Blumer (OSU), 142-138.5
Becca Murray (TAMU) def. Rachel Houchin (OSU), 142.5-141.5
Randi Standley (TAMU) def. Christy McElreath (OSU), 142-136.5
Abigail Grabein (TAMU) def. Caroline Daniels (OSU), 141-131.5