Team hosts A&M for weekend contest

Win or lose, today’s equestrian game against Texas A&M will not affect TCU’s position in the Varsity Equestrian National Championships.

TCU, which holds the No. 1 seed for Nationals in Western and the alternate position in Hunt Seat, host the Aggies at Field State Park for its last regular season contest.

A&M, which is ranked No. 2 in Hunt Seat and No. 4 in Western this year, is the defending National Champion in Western and finished sixth place in Hunt Seat last season.

TCU fell to A&M last season and the teams have not met since.

The game won’t count toward either teams ranking for Nationals. Head coach Gary Reynolds said it was a practice game for the two teams.

“It will sharpen us up and make us better, no matter what the outcome,” Reynolds said.

Senior Kindel Huffman, who holds the No. 1 seed in Horsemanship after the first 10-0 season ever, said win or lose, the contest should help the Western team for Nationals. She said it should help the team focus on anything that might go wrong and work on it before the team goes to Nationals.

Huffman said there’s a good chance TCU could play A&M at Nationals and she thinks the Aggies are the team to beat this year.

Because the game doesn’t count toward Nationals, Huffman said she does not feel pressure.

Junior Chloe Baker, who went 7-1 in Horsemanship this season, said the team has been strengthening its riding skills by riding as many horses as they can to prepare for Nationals. She said competing on different horses is a mental challenge.

“The horse is only going to beat you if you let it,” Baker said.

Reynolds said he is coaching a great team and he has confidence it will do well at Nationals.

“Going undefeated this year and playing the schedule we played is unbelievable,” Reynolds said.

The Hunt Seat team was disappointed that they didn’t make the Nationals bracket, Reynolds said. But he said next season he plans on adding to the momentum the Hunt Seat team has gained.