angle-left NCEA Collegiate Championships: Day 2

NCEA Collegiate Championships: Day 2

Collegiate teams battle for a shot at the team championship at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships.
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By Jill J. Dunkel for The American Quarter Horse Journal

It was a long day of showing April 18 at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships, with the team bracket featuring both the quarterfinals and the semifinals in one day. Competition began at 8:30 a.m. and was still going strong almost 12 hours later. 

Auburn punched its ticket with two strong wins. The Tigers came into the competition as the top seed and outlasted Texas Christian University to advance to the semifinal round. The Horned Frogs took horsemanship 3-1, but ultimately couldn’t hold off the Tigers in the other events, falling 12-4. 

In the other quarterfinal match-up, No. 2 seed Texas A&M University took care of business against South Carolina, sweeping horsemanship 4-0, and earning draws in reining, equitation over fences and equitation on the flat for a final score of 10-6.

The middle of the team bracket pitted third-ranked Baylor University against No. 10-seeded University of Georgia. The back-and-forth match went the Bulldogs’ way 10 to 6 to earn their ticket to the semifinals. The closest match of the day was between Oklahoma State University and Southern Methodist University with the Cowgirls edging the Mustangs, 8-7.

The semifinal matches between Auburn and Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M vs. Georgia kicked off in the evening. Auburn again proved its merit to be in the championship match, topping Oklahoma State 11-5. The squads tied in horsemanship and equitation on the flat, but the Tigers swept equitation over fences and bested the OSU reiners, 3-1. 

Texas A&M jumped out to a 6-2 lead over Georgia after equitation over fences and horsemanship, but couldn’t hold off the Bulldogs in reining and tied in equitation on the flat, losing the match 8-7. 

Those results sets up a repeat of last year’s championship round, Auburn vs. Georgia. In 2018, the Tigers upset the top-seeded Bulldogs. This year, the tables are reversed with Auburn taking the No. 1 ranking to the championship round. The rematch also guarantees that for the seventh year in a row, the 2019 champion team will once again be an SEC school.

Today the event championships continue with the quarterfinals and semifinals in each discipline. Live streaming is available from EQSportsNet. Live scoring for each event is also available at collegiateequestrian.com.