The fourth-seeded Texas A&M equestrian team defeated No. 5 SMU, 8-7, Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the NCEA Championships at the Extraco Events Center.
The Aggies (12-6) jumped out to an early 3-1 lead after the day’s first event, Horsemanship. Sarah Orsak opened with a 149-147.5 victory against Haylee Schoonover. Alex Albright scored a 142.5 to defeat Michaela Dinger’s 141.5, before Avery Ellis closed out the event with a 146-142 win over Kara Vickery.
Texas A&M took a 6-2 lead into the half, winning Equitation on the Flat, 3-1. Brianna Peddicord recorded the first point with a 156-141 triumph over Kristen Ostling. Rachael Hake followed with a 168-156 victory against Vivian Yowan, as Rebekah Chenelle topped Hayley Zimmerman, 158-144.
SMU (10-6) rallied to tie the meet, sweeping Reining, 4-0.
In Equitation Over Fences, Chenelle regained the lead for Texas A&M, defeating Nora Gray, 161-158. Caroline Dance earned a 160, bettering Brett Burlington’s 147. After SMU cut the lead back to one, Alex Desiderio tied Hayley Banas at 153 in the meet’s final ride.
The Aggies square off against top-seeded Georgia beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the semifinals. The winner of the meet faces the winner of Auburn-TCU in the team championship on Saturday.