The No. 5 Texas A&M equestrian team fell to No. 1 Auburn on Saturday 14-6 at the Hildebrand Equine Complex.
The Aggies headed into Saturday’s match coming off a home win over No. 9 Baylor, but dropped to 2-3 on the season with the loss.
Saturday’s meet came in the midst of a historically cold weekend for Bryan-College Station, a factor head coach Tana McKay said required some adjustments.
“We just had to go ride what we felt and not necessarily the way they were last week or last month or last year,” McKay said. “So you know it takes the home-field advantage out of it just a little bit but still at the end of the day, they’ve gotta ride what they feel.”
Freshman Ella Patek gave the Aggies their lone point in Horsemanship, defeating Auburn’s Madison Parduhn 77-72.5. Despite Hayley Riddle’s team-high score of 77.5, the junior SEC Fall co-horsemanship rider suffered her first defeat of the season against Auburn’s Olivia Tordoff.
Auburn dominated in Fences to secure a 4-1 victory; the Aggies’ only point came after sophomore Kaitlyn Lovingfoss scored an 84 to squeak out McKalya Langmeier’s 83.
The Aggies lost Reining 4-1 with the only point awarded after Auburn senior Terri-June Granger’s original score of 76 was changed to 0 following a video review. Sophomore Ariana Gray secured the point with a score of 74.5.
In Flat, the Aggies’ performance propelled them to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers. Sophomore Kaitlyn Lovingfoss outperformed Lindsey Klein en route to a 66-52 score for the Aggies’ first point. Senior Rhian Murphy followed with a score of 76.5, enough to secure the Aggies’ second point against Emma Kurtz’s 75. The Aggies eked out the narrow victory in Flat after Senior Mali Selman’s 69 bested Ava Stearns’ 68 score.
“I’m really proud of our flat team,” McKay said. “Overall, there were some really consistent rides. There really were not a lot of major mistakes and those are the things that you are going to have to go back and work on.”
Looking ahead, the Aggies will travel to No. 4 South Carolina to continue a tough spring SEC slate.
“When you’re playing Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina, nothing is easy,” McKay said. “We just do our homework, look at videos, do our work in the arena, make sure we’re doing our thing in the weight room, and try to prepare for a tough road of competition and our final home meet.”
The Aggies are scheduled to compete against the Gamecocks on Feb. 27 starting at 9 a.m. at One Wood Farm.