NCEA Championship: April 17

Every ride is critical at the 2015 National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championship as teams move past the quarterfinals.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Fans cheer on the competitors on April 17 at the 2014 NCEA Championship in Waco, Texas. Journal photo

Riding takes teamwork. Riding takes two minds, six legs and two hearts beating as one. The sport takes a team of trainers, veterinarians and farriers. However, at the end of the day, only one person takes home the ribbon, buckles or trophy. In a sport that requires an outstanding team, it is completely up to the individual to seize the win.

The sport of women's equestrian, an NCAA emerging sport organized by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, is unique in the fact that the individual is part of a true team. Every ride and every point is critical, but no ride or discipline is more or less important than the others. The barns bustled early in the morning on Friday as the teams worked to get the horses ready for the day. Loud cheers and friendly banter occurred between the barn aisles as the teams and fans made their collegiate pride known.

It is immediately clear that for quite possibly the first time in these young equestrian’s careers, they are competing in a true team sport.

AQHA youth world champions compete alongside top junior hunter/jumper competitors with one common goal – to capture the 2015 NCEA Championship.

Teamwork was critical this Friday in the quarterfinals as eight teams competed for the opportunity to advance to the semi-finals. The No. 1 Seed, Georgia, beat Kansas State for the opportunity to compete against No. 5 Seed Auburn in the semi-finals. Auburn upset the No. 4 seed, Texas A&M, with a final score of 9-6. South Carolina defeated Fresno State 12-4 to continue to the semi-finals.

No. 10-seed Oklahoma State came into the quarterfinals strong. After a tie in both of the equitation classes against No. 2-seed Baylor, Oklahoma State swept the reining with a 4-0 victory. Baylor was down four points heading into the final event of the day – horsemanship. The Baylor girls fought hard and tied the score 8-8. Baylor won the tie breaker and advanced into the semi-finals.

Teamwork was the theme of the day as eight teams became four for the quarterfinal round at the NCEA Championship.

Saturday kicked off with the quarterfinals before the championship round. Keep following the live coverage and cheer your favorite collegiate team on to the NCEA Championship.

Keep up with the action and cheer on your favorite school with the live feed.

View the 2015 NCEA Championship schedule.

View the brackets for Round 1, quarterfinals, semifinals and the championship round.

Journal Coverage of the NCEA Championship

  • April 18 – South Carolina edged out Georgia to win the 2015 NCEA title; scroll through photos from the event.
  • April 17 – Every ride is critical at the 2015 NCEA Championship as teams move past the quarterfinals.
  • April 16 – Four teams advance to the quarter-finals during Day 2.
  • April 15 – View the Journal's slideshow from Day 1 in Waco, Texas.