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From Auburn Media Relations
AUBURN – Auburn, seeded No. 1, advanced to the championship round of the Southeastern Conference Equestrian Championship after defeating No. 4 seed Texas A&M 11-8 Friday at the Auburn University Horse Center. Auburn will face No. 2 seed South Carolina on Saturday after the Gamecocks defeated No. 3 seed Georgia, 10-7.
“(Texas A&M) has one of the best Western teams in the country,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. “We knew in order to secure a win, we’d need to rely on our Hunt Seat side, and they delivered huge. I was really happy with most of our rides on the Western end. I’m feeling really good about our Western squad right now. As I’ve said all year, as a team, we are extremely hard to beat. When one (discipline) dips a little bit, the other will be there to bail them out, and I love that.”
Auburn’s Hunt Seat riders handily defeated the Aggies, 7-3, winning equitation over fences, 4-1, and equitation on the flat, 3-2. In the Western arena, the Tigers fell, 5-4, as Texas A&M won horsemanship, 3-2, and tied in reining, 2-2.
The Tigers swept the Most Outstanding Player awards, as Christina Lin won for equitation over fences, Hasbrouck Donovan for equitation on the flat and senior Western rider Indy Roper took both Western MOP awards in horsemanship and reining.
“I didn’t expect it at all, I can tell you that,” Roper said. “Obviously Texas A&M is a really strong Western team. For me, it’s just an honor. I think it comes from the support I had behind me. All those girls, the cheering, it was definitely an upbeat environment today, and I tried to thrive off that.”
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