COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M equestrian team presented its individual awards at its annual end-of-the-year banquet at their future home, the Brazos County Expo Center, on Friday evening.
On the western side, horsemanship national champion Caroline Gunn
(Greensburg, Ind.) was named the MVP in her discipline. Gunn ran up a record of 15-2-1, the best on the entire team, and won each of her last 12 match-ups. Junior Genna Fishgold (Scottsdale, Ariz.) was named reining MVP after accruing a reining-team-best 10-6 record, a seven win improvement from last season.
Senior Lindsey Lawrence (College Station) was named the flat MVP after posting a team-best 10-5-2 record, an eight win improvement from a year ago.
Sophomore Lindsay Smith (West Friendship, Md.) was named fences MVP after racking up a 11-6 record, equaling the best mark on the fences squad, along with three MVP¹s, which were a hunter seat team-high.
The Aggie Heart Awards were given to senior Hanna Lindskog (Boerne) on the western side and senior Megan Von Tungeln (Sugar Land) on the hunter seat side.
Most Improved Awards were given to sophomore Christina Heine (Toledo, Ohio) and junior co-captain Reneé Dirkse (Rockwall). Heine rode her way to a 7-4 record and won her first-ever match at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships last month while Dirkse went 2-1 with both wins coming against rival Oklahoma State.
The Best Under Pressure Awards were given to junior Christina Matz
(McKinney) and team announcer/volunteer Dr. Brett Scott. Matz, who racked up an 8-6 seasonal record, earned the highest flat score of the entire VENC national championship match, squeaking out a one-point victory over an Auburn rider who had the second-highest score of the team match. Matz¹s very impressive and clutch win kept the Aggies in contention for the team title as well. Scott was given the award for stepping in and taking over the western show management duties at the VENC after some late-in-the-game organizational issues in the few weeks leading up to the national show.
Rookie of the Year Awards were given to freshmen Brooke Coleman (Houston) and Randi Standley (Madisonville). Coleman showed 13 times this season, nine times over fences and four times on the flat, the most of any freshman on the hunter seat team. Standley was one of the most dependable riders on the entire western team, racking up records of 9-6 in horsemanship and 6-3 in reining. She was a perfect 3-0 in reining at the VENC as well.
The Miss Aggie Awards were given to hunter seat rider Stephanie Harmon (Houston) and Christine Sceets (Baytown) The Little Miss Aggie Awards were bestowed upon Elizabeth Solch (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Bianca Lamb (Bottineau, N.D.).
Towards the end of the banquet, team captains were named for the 2008-09 year. Junior-to-be Brittney Dodson (Amarillo) was named the flat captain while junior-to-be Lindsay Smith was named fences captain, making this coming year her second consecutive season to earn the honor. On the western side, senior-to-be Genna Fishgold was named reining captain while senior-to-be Megan James (New Braunfels) earned the horsemanship honor.