COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M equestrian team will enter the 2008 Varsity Equestrian National Championships (VENC) next month with No. 2 and No. 4 seeds while sophomore Caroline Gunn (Greensburg, Ind.) will get the opportunity to compete for the first-ever VENC individual national title in horsemanship.
The Aggie hunter seat squad will enter the VENC show in the No. 2 spot, its¹ highest seeding ever. The Aggies currently hold a 9-2 record with both losses coming to top-seeded Oklahoma State. A&M finished sixth at last season¹s national championships in hunter seat competition.
The defending national champion western team will enter the show as the No. 4 seed after posting a 7-3 record to this point in the season. The Aggies lost road competitions to Oklahoma State in the fall and Auburn to open the spring while dropping a tiebreaker to Georgia in College Station early in the season. The western squad is now on a three-match win streak however, having beaten each of its three Big 12 rivals in a row in the last six weeks. TCU, Georgia, and Oklahoma State earned the top three seeds for the VENC, respectively.
Sophomore Caroline Gunn will get the opportunity to compete for the VENC¹s first-ever individual national championship title in horsemanship. Gunn was one of four riders selected to compete in a single-elimination tournament format to decide the top individual rider in the nation. Gunn has compiled a 7-2-1 record in horsemanship this season and has won most valuable rider honors in four of her seven victories.
Hunter seat riders Katie Henion (Austin) and Brittney Dodson (Amarillo) are listed as second alternates in the individual fences and flat national
championship tournaments, respectively, as well.
The Aggies will head to Manhattan, Kan., this week to defend their title at the Central Championships. The Central Championships is a competition between the four Big 12 Conference schools that sponsor equestrian that serves as a pre-cursor to an eventual Big 12 Championship event once the sport picks up enough NCAA schools to sponsor a championship at the national level.