WACO, Texas - The second-ranked Texas A&M equestrian team dropped its first match of the season, 15-5, to fourth-ranked Baylor on Saturday at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
Baylor (5-1) out-pointed A&M (5-1) in all four disciplines, winning by a 4-1 margin in three of them. The Bears edged out the Aggie reiners by a 3-2 count.
"We rode well," A&M head coach Tana McKay said. "I wouldn't change the way that we rode. It just didn't work out for us across the board today."
Despite the tough loss, the Aggies did win two of the four most valuable rider honors on Saturday.
Horsemanship national champion Caroline Gunn (Greensburg, Ind.) won her third MVP award of the season in a 77.5-73 win over Baylor's Lindsey Tomko. Gunn (3-1-1) has earned MVP honors each time she has claimed a victory this year.
Junior Kristi Waldal (Battle Ground, Wash.) won the second MVP honor of her career with a 76-55 fences victory over the Bears' Anna Banks. Waldal has now won MVP honors in back-to-back weeks.
Sophomore Tara Christiansen (Snohomish, Wash.) completed a perfect fall campaign with a 74.5-73.5 reining win over Baylor's Amber Mooney. Christiansen will head into the spring with a 5-0 record and one MVP award on her resume.
Junior Maggie Gratny (Leavenworth, Kan.) evened her seasonal record to 2-2-1 with a 70.5-69 win over the Bears' Valtie Riddle in reining.
Freshman Megan Webb (Burlington, W.V.) improved her record to 3-1, earning the Aggies' only equitation on the flat win in a 74-68 triumph over Baylor's Margaret Beaudoin. Each of the Aggies' four flat losses came by three points or less while one-third of A&M's total losses for the entire day came by a single point.
The loss to the Bears marks the end of A&M's fall season. The Aggies will resume their season on Jan. 31, 2009 when they travel to take on No. 9 South Carolina in Blythewood, S.C.
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