COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M equestrian team will compete in the Varsity Equestrian National Championships this Wednesday through Friday at the Heart O¹ Texas Fair Complex in Waco.
The VENC show is split up into two 12-team seeded brackets. The hunter seat bracket consists of (1) South Carolina, (2) Oklahoma State, (3) Georgia, (4) Auburn, (5) Texas A&M, (6) Baylor, (7) Kansas State, (8) Fresno State, (9) Tennessee-Martin, (10) New Mexico State, (11) Stephen F. Austin, and (12) SMU.
The Aggie hunter seat team (8-5) will face SMU in the first round on
Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. The winner of that match will compete against Auburn in the quarterfinals starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Texas A&M ranks as the No. 1 seed in the western bracket after posting an impressive 11-1 record over the course of the season. Due to earning one of the top four seeds, the Aggies will get a bye in the first round.
The remaining western seeds are as follows: (2) Georgia, (3) Kansas State, (4) Auburn, (5) New Mexico State, (6) Oklahoma State, (7) South Carolina, (8) Baylor, (9) Fresno State, (10) TCU, (11) Stephen F. Austin, and (12) South Dakota State. The Aggie western riders will compete against the winner of the Baylor-Fresno State match-up in the quarterfinals starting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
An overall team national champion will be determined by combining an
assigned number of points based on finish at the conclusion of the
championships. Points are assigned only to teams finishing among the top eight in both the hunter seat and western brackets.
The Aggies will be trying to break the stranglehold the SEC has had on the national title for the last four years. Auburn won its first title a year
ago, unseating first-time champion South Carolina. Georgia, coached by
former A&M hunter seat coach Meghan Boenig, won the prior two titles in 2002-03 and 2003-04.
The Aggies are the only non-SEC school to have ever won the overall title.
A&M won the inaugural VENC show in Gainesville, Fla. in 2002. The Aggie western riders won their first and only western team national title at the VENC in 2005 in Santa Fe., N.M.