Baylor equestrian ranked No. 9 in NCEA preseason poll

The Bears competed against Fresno State on Feb. 22 in Waco. Baylor will enter the 2021 season ranked No. 9 in the NCEA preseason poll. Brittney Matthews | Photo Editor

By DJ Ramirez | Sports Editor

Baylor equestrian was ranked No. 9 in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association’s preseason poll Wednesday afternoon. The Bears, who finished fourth in the Big 12 last season with a 2-4 Big 12 record, 5-8 overall, were one year removed from a national and conference title. Baylor was set to host the Big 12 Championship last spring before the season was cut short with only one matchup left in the regular season.

The Bears’ 2021 season is set to begin on Jan. 30, 2021. Because the 2020 season was canceled and the NCAA allowed for an extra year of eligibility for spring athletes affected by the cancellation, Baylor will boast a 63-rider roster this year, adding nine freshmen to 54 returning riders.

“We’re looking forward to getting back into the competition arena,” head coach Casie Maxwell said in a press release Wednesday. “We have a great mix of veteran and freshman talent, and we are very excited to see how they perform together.”

Baylor returns NCEA All-American riders Rachel Davis and Maddie Vorhies. Davis was named Big 12 Flat Rider of the Year at the end of last season and was also an All-Big 12 First Team selection.

Auburn was ranked No. 1 overall in the preseason after finishing the shortened 2020 season with an undefeated record. Oklahoma State sits at No. 2 after finishing the spring with a 9-3 record, 4-1 in the Big 12. TCU was also ranked No. 8, one spot ahead of Baylor.