COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M equestrian team will host the first-of-its-kind Big 12 Classic this weekend at N.W. Dick¹ Freeman Arena.
Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will compete in a
tournament bracket format to determine the top equestrian team in the
conference. The first round of action will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday with A&M facing Baylor while KSU will ride against OSU. Sunday will pit winners and losers against each other in gold medal and bronze medal matches.
The Big 12 Classic is a forerunner to what the current membership hopes will eventually be a fully-backed conference championship event.
³We are excited about hosting this first-ever event,² A&M head coach Tana Rawson said. ³We hope that it will encourage other Big 12 schools that do not have an equestrian team to seriously take a look at adding the sport. We know there are some that have been seriously considering doing so. We are currently only two schools short of having a Big 12 Championship.²
Competition between the conference teams has been balanced practically across the board this season. The only conference team to earn a yearly sweep over another conference team has been the Aggies over Baylor. Kansas State and Oklahoma State have both beaten and lost to each school in the conference this season. By virtue of A&M¹s overall record versus conference opponents, it earned the top seed for the Big 12 Classic, resulting in a third match-up against the Bears this spring.
³We are looking forward to competing against some very strong teams,² Rawson said. ³This is going to be a great pre-cursor to nationals which is coming up in a few weeks.²
There will be several events taking place outside of the regular competition over the course of the weekend. Saturday will be Senior Day for 10 Aggie seniors making the last home appearance of their collegiate riding careers.
Sunday will be highlighted by a Œhalftime¹ performance by select members of the Texas A&M football team (approximately 11:30 a.m.). There will also be drawings for A&M sports gear and a silent auction on Sunday. Area Boy Scouts will cook food over both days of the competition as a fundraiser as well.
Admission to Texas A&M equestrian events is free of charge. Freeman Arena is located on FM 2818 approximately one mile north of University Drive.