Equestrian downs rival TCU with strong hunt seat performances

Desert Hot Springs, Calif. senior Charlotte Green competes in the equestrian match against TCU Sunday morning.

 Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Molly Atchison | Print Managing Editor

Baylor equestrian team triumphed 10-7 over TCU Saturday at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.

This is the second straight home victory against a ranked opponent for Baylor after beating Auburn 9-8 last weekend.

Head coach Casie Maxwell praised her team and their victory in what was a close comeback decided in the final six rides.

“Today was another great win for our team. It’s nice to be into the spring semester with two big wins under our belt against very high caliber teams,” Maxwell said.

Baylor equestrian started out on a slow note, falling 3-2 in fences, with junior hunt seat Shannon Hogue and senior hunt seat Gabby Conte taking a loss in fences, but scoring a meet-high tie of 83 points.

Reining, however, was more successful. Junior Western Abbi Demel, sophomore Western Georgia Smith and freshman Western Carly Salter helped to carry the event, where senior Western Charlotte Green forcing a tie which helped keep Baylor’s score up at 5-4 going into the flat and horsemanship events.

The meet was split into four events, with five team members represent the group in each specific event. The four events have two focuses, western and hunt, with flat and fences falling under hunt and horsemanship and reining falling under western. Baylor won flat, lost fences, tied horsemanship and won reining.

Each ride in the second half of the meet was crucial, as TCU had started off strong, winning seven of the points possible. This forced the Bears to fight for four of the remaining points available, and pushing the team to be more precise in horsemanship, where junior hunt seat Kaylee Mellott helped keep the Bears in front by pushing her opponent into a draw.

On flat, freshman hunt seat Rachael Davis, sophomore hunt seat Grace Thiel and sophomore hunt seat Madison Day were all catalysts for Baylor’s 3-1 lead, where senior hunt seat Brittney Mirkov forced a tie to prevent TCU from getting a point.

“I’m really proud of how our team pushed through the day, especially when there were quite a few very close moments,” Maxwell said. “We’ll be tested on the road over the next few weeks, but this has definitely helped get our confidence back up where it should be.”

This victory over the Horned Frogs marks the ninth round of a regular season winning streak against TCU, and keeps the Bears undefeated in home matches against TCU.

With a strong regular season start, Baylor equestrian will be heading out to compete in their next three meets on the road, beginning on Feb. 24 at 11 a.m. with Texas A&M. After A&M, the team will move on to Delaware to participate in a tournament against South Carolina and Delaware State University. Catch recaps of the meets on the Baylor Equestrian Team’s official page, or on the Lariat’s website.