Bulldogs top No. 2 team in the nation

Fresno State equestrian team member Paige Barton at the Student Horse Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. (Armando Carreno/The Collegian.)

For the first time in program history, the No. 9 Fresno State equestrian team defeated Texas A&M, according to a Fresno State Athletics news release.

The Bulldogs, who defeated the Aggies 11-9, were coming off a defeat by the No. 7 TCU Horned Frogs in their first Big 12 conference home opener on Friday 12-7. 

Three Bulldogs earned most outstanding performer (MOP) honors in the matchup against the No. 2 Aggies. Freshman Aba Bertozzi earned her third fences MOP of the season with a season-high 86 to her opponent’s 82. 

Senior Nicole Campbell earned the horsemanship MOP with a 74-72 ride. Senior Paige Barton earned her first reining MOP of the season with a 69-67.5 showing in the event.

“Today was a big day,” said Fresno State equestrian head coach Eric Hubbard in the release. “It spoke a lot to this young team and their ability to bounce back from a loss and ride so strong against the No. 2 team. The energy going into the second half propelled us to the win. It is great to make school history, and we cannot wait to see what’s ahead.”

Fresno State started off its day on the right track by taking the fences event 3-2. Bertozzi earned the first point for the Bulldogs and senior Erica Rosinski picked up her second fences point of the season with a 78-68 point ride. Sophomore Cecily Hayes earned the final point for the Bulldogs with an 80 to Texas A&M’s 0.

The Bulldogs held their own in the horsemanship event, but they were bested by the Aggies 3-2. Campbell earned her point and sophomore Brooklyn Moch earned the next point with a 72.

Fresno State then scored the first two points in the flat following the intermission. Texas A&M prevailed and closed the event with three points to take another 3-2 win. Rosinski earned her third flat point of the season with an 81 to her opponent’s 80, and Bertozzi earned the Bulldogs’ final point with a 78-71 win.

With one event remaining, Texas A&M had a 8-7 lead against the Bulldogs. Sophomore Lexee Padrick scored the tying point in the reining event with a 69.5-68 ride. The scoring would continue for the Bulldogs when Barton earned her MOP point shortly after.

Texas A&M’s Courtney Yohey edged freshman Julianne Kelley 70-69.5 to tie the meet again at nine apiece. Only two rides remained in the meet, freshman Bailey Alexander had to beat the Aggies’ 69 to earn her point. Alexander scored a 69.5 to earn the point and give the Bulldogs the lead. Senior Shea Gilson would secure the final point against Texas A&M’s Shelby Reine 68-65.5.

Bertozzi was named the Big 12 Conference Fences Rider of the Month for her efforts in September. This is the first conference honor for the Bulldogs since joining the Big 12 conference in May.

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