STILLWATER, Okla. - The Texas A&M equestrian team ended its fall campaign with a 17-9 loss to Oklahoma State at Animal Science Arena on Saturday.
The Cowgirls (4-0) managed to stay one step ahead of the Aggies all day long in earning their fourth home win in four fall competitions. A&M fought valiantly but dropped 13 of their 17 head-to-head losses by five points or less.
“Today was a character building day for our team,” A&M head coach Tana Rawson said. “We had a couple of mistakes out here today, but overall I felt like our girls had great, correct rides. After they ride to the best of their ability, it often comes down to one person’s opinion and sometimes that opinion doesn’t always go your way.”
A&M kept things close early on dropping a tight 4-3 decision over fences while tying at three points apiece in horsemanship.
One bright spot for the Aggies was their source of points in the horsemanship competition. With national championship riders Tonna Brooks, Caroline Gunn, and Sibyl Parsons all coming up short of the win column, several new talents stepped up to the plate in their stead.
Senior co-captain Renee Dirkse (Rockwall) earned the first win of her collegiate career over OSU’s Jordan Pickelman, 73.5-73. Sophomore Amanda Cushman (Huntsville) earned the second win of her college showing career, scoring a day best 77 points in an MVP-worthy defeat of Cowgirl freshman Courtney Whitacre. Freshman Randi Standley (Madisonville) moved her seasonal record to 4-1 with a 76-74 win over Sam Davidson.
Over fences, junior Erin Ivy (Cypress) was the Aggies’ top rider, scoring a 79-74 win over OSU sophomore Ally Blais. Senior co-captain Katie Henion (Austin) earned A&M’s biggest win of the day from a margin of victory standpoint with a 73-50 defeat of Natalie Chappell. Freshman Amanda Goldman (Coto de Caza, Calif.) earned the first win of her collegiate career, a 50-46 victory over OSU freshman Erin Prutow.
After suffering her first loss of the season on the flat against Kansas State on Friday, senior Lindsey Lawrence got back on the right track against Oklahoma State. Lawrence moved her seasonal record to 6-1 with a 67-63.5 win over Cowgirl Brittany Myers. Sophomore Christina Heine (Toledo, Ohio) was the only Aggie flat rider to escape the two-day road trip unscathed, taking down OSU’s Charlotte Collingsworth, 71-66.
Junior Tonna Brooks (Newberg, Ore.) rebounded from a puzzling loss in horsemanship to win her reining match, 73.5-0 over Cowgirl LeeAnna MacNally. Brooks was the only Aggie rider to chalk up a reining win as A&M was tripped up in the discipline, 5-1.
With the loss, the Aggies’ overall record falls to 6-1 on the season as does the mark of the hunter seat team. A&M’s western team suffered its first-ever varsity loss to the Cowgirls, but still maintain a solid mark of 4-2 heading into the holiday break.
The Aggies will resume their season in Alabama on Feb. 2, taking on the Auburn Tigers for the first time ever in a head-to-head match.