AUBURN, Ala. -- The No. 2 Auburn equestrian team dominated Fresno State, 15-2, in the season opening meet at the Auburn Horse Center, Saturday afternoon. With the win the reigning national champions start the season 1-0. The hunt seat posted nine wins on the day, while western registered another six towards the team score.
“I’m really proud of the way they executed today,” head coach Greg Williams said. “I’m surprised at how many scores we pulled in for early in the season. We weren’t doing big pushes yet, so we will keep building. The spirit was great out here at the Horse Center and I think that really helped the riders. Overall it was a good first performance.”
The Tigers jumped out to a strong start with a sweep of the over fences discipline in hunt seat. Senior All-American Jennifer Waxman picked up the MOP award with the high score for all competitors in the meet with an 88. Competing in her first meet as a Tiger, TCU transfer and 2013 All-American Demi Stiegler posted an 82 in an impressive first ride. Other winners were Christina Rachel Lin, Elizabeth Benson and Quincy Hayes.
On the day, the English riders saw a near perfect 9-0 record, picking up another four wins on the flat. Stiegler, Benson and Lin each logged two wins on the day. Benson was the MOP on the flat with a score of 86 in her ride.
Auburn recorded three team points in horsemanship with wins by All-American Stephanie Rucci, who was also the MOP with a score of 76.5, Danielle Long and freshman Lacy Watson. The Western squad went 3-1 in reining, and Katsy Leeman took the MOP award with her 74 score and a meet high in the discipline. She was joined in wins by Cheyenne Cracraft and Hailey Munger.
Auburn used a few new faces this meet in the freshman western rider Watson and in hunt seat All-American Stiegler.
“Demi Stiegler came in as a transfer and picked up both points, and Lacy Watson had a super ride and is a great composer on the horse,” Williams added.
NEXT UP: The team returns to action on Oct. 19 with a home meet at the Auburn Horse Center against UT-Martin. It is the second of a four-meet home stand this fall.