NCEA Collegiate Championships: Day 1

NCEA Collegiate Championships: Day 1

A look back at April 17 at the 2019 National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships in Waco, Texas.

Kaylee Mellot rides

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Trotting in the show pen on an unknown horse you’ve only ridden for four minutes seems crazy, but that’s what all of the riders at this year’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) Championships are doing – with collegiate national titles on the line.

The NCEA championship kicked off Wednesday in Waco, Texas, with the event competition.  It’s the second year that schools will compete for national titles in individual as well as team events. In head-to-head matchups on the same horse, riders each take a turn riding a pattern vying for the top score and a point for their team.

In the horsemanship competition, the top-three ranked teams – Auburn, Texas A&M University and Oklahoma State University – all earned byes, while the other 10 schools battled it out to see which would advance to the quarterfinal round. Fourth seed Southern Methodist University defeated 13th-seed University of California-Davis, 4-0. South Carolina, the 12th seed, upset 5th-seed Fresno State 3-1. Other winners included Texas Christian University over Delaware State 3-1, Baylor over South Dakota State 3-1 and University of Georgia over University of Tennessee-Martin, 3-1.

The reining bracket saw most of the favored seeds advance, including SMU over South Dakota State 3-1, Texas A&M over UC Davis 3-1, Auburn over Fresno State 3-1, and South Carolina topping TCU, 4-0. In the lone upset of the day, Delaware State defeated UT Martin, 3-1.

The day wrapped up with NCEA All American and All Academic riders honored during an arena-floor ceremony sponsored by Adequan®. The first “unofficial” championship was awarded to the rider with the strongest core muscles in a fun-filled “plank off.” For more than seven minutes, multiple athletes held the plank position in the arena dirt with Jordan Gates of South Dakota State ultimately outlasting the others.
Today is the first round of the team competition with the top eight teams competing in the quarterfinals and semifinals, aiming for a spot in the championship on Saturday morning. Fans can watch all the action at this year's NCEA National Championship via live streaming from EQSportsNet. Live scoring for each event is also available at

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