The No. 9 Fresno State women’s equestrian team upset the reigning national champion Auburn University on Friday at the Dovington Training Center in Felton, Delaware. The ‘Dogs handed the No. 1 Tigers their first loss since Nov. 6, 2015, beating them 11-5.
“I am proud of our entire team,” Fresno State head coach Eric Hubbard said. “We were very focused, with a plan for each horse.”
The Bulldogs swept Auburn 4-0 in Equitation on the Flat. Four ‘Dogs — junior Kylina Chalack, sophomore Alexandra Dirickson, junior Sierra Swaffar and freshman Natalie Wendt — contributed to the shutout in this event.
Senior Taylor Brown scored Fresno State’s only point in Reining with a ride of 70.5 to help the ‘Dogs keep a slim 5-3 lead.
Chalack and Dirickson increased the Bulldogs lead to 7-5, scoring points in Equitation over Fences.
Fresno State also swept Auburn in Horsemanship, the ‘Dogs’ best event this season going into the match. Winning rides from Brown, junior Taylor Dixon, sophomore Taeya Harle and junior Rachel Williams secured the 11-5 victory over the Tigers.
This is the Bulldogs’ second-straight victory over the Tigers, previously defeating them 9-8 on Nov. 22, 2014, in Fresno.
The ‘Dogs return home after securing a win over Delaware State 8-7 on Saturday with standout performances by Brown and Wendt.
Brown (10-0) had her best Horsemanship performance of the season, edging the Hornets 76-74 to give the ‘Dogs the lead in their second victory of the weekend. Wendt was responsible for the ‘Dogs’ lone point in Equitation on the Flat that Delaware State owned 3-1.
Hubbard said, “We always have things we can take away and improve on, but we’re very happy to have two wins on the road.”
Both Brown and Wendt claimed two Most Outstanding Player awards in the competition, giving Brown a total of nine MOP honors.
The Bulldogs (4-1) return to action Oct. 21 at 11 a.m. at Fresno State’s Student Horse Center for their first home competition of the season against No. 4 TCU (1-1).