COLLEGE STATION, TX -- The National Champion Texas A&M equestrian team will compete in its first Southeastern Conference Championship, March 29-30, 2013, in Auburn, Ala., the conference office announced today.
Auburn was chosen by the SEC to play host for the four-team tournament and will welcome A&M, Georgia and South Carolina to the Auburn University Horse Center.
“We are really looking forward to being a part of the first official SEC Equestrian Championship,” Texas A&M Head Coach Tana McKay said. “It doesn’t get any tougher than the SEC and that is no different for the sport of equestrian. This is a true testament of the growth of our sport and my hope is that other SEC schools will look at adding the sport on their campus as well.”
The site announcement comes after a June 1 decision by the SEC to sponsor an equestrian championship, making the sport the league’s 21st. It is the first championship to be added to the conference since softball began in 1997.
“We are pleased to begin sponsoring a championship in the sport of equestrian,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “Our institutions that are participating in equestrian have had great success in it. The SEC championship should be another outstanding event for the league. We are looking forward to the inaugural championship at Auburn.”
Three times in its program history Auburn played host to the Southern Equestrian Championships, a three-team competition between the Tigers, Georgia and South Carolina, doing so in 2004, 2007 and 2010.
The equestrian programs of the SEC have been the nation’s most successful. The league’s four teams - Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M – are the only programs ever to win National Collegiate Equestrian Association overall team national championships.
The Aggies are the reigning overall NCEA National Champions after defeating Georgia in hunter seat and South Carolina in western in 2012. The team owns 11 total national championships, including the 2012 NCEA Western National Championship, the Aggies’ fourth straight.
A&M joined the Southeastern Conference on July 1 and will vie for its first SEC equestrian title in March. The Aggies won the 2011 Big 12 Equestrian Championship in the event’s third season.
After the annual Maroon & White Scrimmage on Sept. 15, the A&M equestrian team will begin the 2012-13 season at South Dakota State on Sept. 22. To learn more about Texas A&M equestrian, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieEquestrian on Twitter.