Jun 06, 2020
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Kameron Thorn takes part in the horsemanship competition against Auburn at the Student Horse Center on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (Larry Valenzuela/The Collegian)

‘Dogs lose narrowly to the best team in the country

The No. 4 Fresno State equestrian team fought hard against the No. 1 Auburn, but ultimately fell 10-8 at the Student Horse Center. 

For its first match in the spring, Fresno State Equestrian hosted the Auburn Tigers on Saturday afternoon. This was the first time these teams met this season as their last matchup was on Feb. 2, 2019. 

Two Fresno State riders walked away with Most Outstanding Performer honors. Freshman Annastasia Anstead was recognized for her performance in the flat, and senior Paige Barton had a huge performance in the reigning event.

The meet kicked off with the fences, and the ‘Dogs kept it close from the start. The Bulldogs earned two points from sophomore Cecily Hayes who beat her opponent with a score of 79 and senior Erica Rosinski who won 85-76. 

In the horsemanship, Auburn and Fresno State tied in the opening ride as sophomore Hannah Buijs earned a career-high 77. The Bulldogs took the next point as freshman Hannah Way won by a small margin, 76.5-75. 

The Tigers would take the next point, but the ‘Dogs were resilient. Bulldog sophomore Kameron Thorn answered back with a career-best 77 to give Fresno State its second point of the event. 

Auburn didn’t go down easily as they took the next point and tied the score 2-2 in the event. Heading into intermission, the Tigers narrowly led 5-4. 

The second half began with the flat and Fresno State was keeping pace against the current flat national championship squad. Senior Brooke Nelson scored a season-high 87 to secure the first point of the event for the ‘Dogs, and Anstead came out strong with a career-best 90 to nab the second point. 

As the Tigers were now up 7-6, the deciding event was the reigning. Ultimately, Auburn came out victorious, earning a 3-2 win in the final event.

Fresno State head coach Eric Hubbard said there were some positives and negatives to the match.

“Today was filled with a lot of ups and downs. We scored really big in a lot of events, and only missed some points by a narrow margin,” Hubbard said. “The mistakes we made severely cost us. Of course, we wanted this win, probably more than any other in the year. We are going to keep our chins up and regroup for next weekend.” 

The Bulldogs return to the Student Horse Center next weekend to face UC Davis and No. 9 UT-Martin.

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