Texas A&M comes to Fresno State tomorrow
The Fresno State equestrian team will host its final home show Saturday against No. 1 Texas A&M at 9 a.m. at the Student Horse Center.
The Bulldogs are coming off a win in their latest competition against the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks and are ranked ninth in the latest Coaches Poll. The ‘Dogs are 1-1 at home and finished second when they hosted the Best in the West Invitational earlier this year.
“Being at home, we have a very good feel for our horses and the girls have come to practice ready to give it their all,” co-coach Stephanie Reeves said.
Texas A&M sits atop the coaches poll with its only blemish a 14-11 loss to No. 4 Oklahoma State in its last competition. The loss dropped the Aggies to 3-1 on the road and 9-1 overall.
Though the meeting with Texas A&M will be the last home competition for the 2010-2011 season, the routine leading up to the competition remains the same to senior Western rider Elizabeth Thomasian who will be competing in the reining event on Saturday.
“Same practice schedule, [I’m] just pretty excited this is the last home show, ever, that I will be competing in,” Thomasian said.
The weather has had some effect on where the team practices. The team has been currently practicing in The Pavilion due to the poor footing caused by the rain.
Saturday will also be the final time that English riders Holly Elsbernd, Sydney Grau and Caitlin Marshall will be a part of Fresno State’s home roster. English riders compete in “Equitation on the Flat” and “Equitation over Fences.” The term equitation refers to the rider’s skill and style on the horse through the event rather than the skill of the horse.
Kaitlyn Coles, Kelsi Fischer, Andrea Prise, Silver Madison and Jillian Tebbe round out the list of the senior Western riders on the Bulldog roster. Western riders compete in reining and horsemanship.
Western riders who compete in reining guide the horses they are riding through various patterns of movement such as circles, stops and spins.
As a group the seniors will be missed.
“They are really helpful, they are really willing work with you and their experience is really useful,” junior Carolyn Carter said of the seniors. “They know these courses that we ride and practice on. They know the system so they’re willing to help.”
The Bulldogs will try to avenge the 11-8 loss that they suffered to Texas A&M in 2009, the last time these two teams met for a competition in Texas.
“It’s always exciting to compete against Texas A&M, but I think it’s even more exciting to have it as our last home show,” Thomasian said.
In order to gain points one rider from each team will compete against each other in a specific event. The rider who receives a higher score during the head-to-head completion will earn a point for her team.
This is the last competition for the Bulldogs before the Varsity Equestrian National Championships, which starts April 14.