Equestrian team defeats No. 6 Baylor in two-day competition
Team ousts Hunt Seat national champions 6-4 Saturday, Western team 6-3 Friday
The Horned Frogs defeated the Bears 3-1 in Reining and 3-2 in Horsemanship Friday night at the Fort Worth Stock Show, improving to 5-1 in Western this season and 4-0 in conference play.
A 3-2 win in both Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat clinched TCU’s victory over defending Hunt Seat national champions Baylor Saturday in Springtown, Texas.
Sophomore Samantha Bayer achieved the Most Outstanding Player in Reining for her win over Baylor’s Claire Edwards 69.5-65.5. Other victors included sophomores Alexi Child and Katie Gray. Senior Kolby Simonson tied with Baylor’s Katherine Burg with 68 points riding Vinny.
Gray, alongside freshman Erin Gillette, contributed to TCU’s 3-2 victory in Horsemanship with scores of 70 and 74, respectively. Bayer grasped the TCU victory 75-72 over Baylor’s Bryn Lindley, scoring her second win of the season in the event.
“It was a really hard fought win,” Bayer said. “I just was like, ‘I’ve got to ride clean, ride smart.’ I was really confident in myself, so I knew I was going to get [the point].”
The Fort Worth Stock Show boasts the largest attendance record for TCU equestrian matches, Western head coach Kindel Walter said. She said 2,200 people attended last year’s show against Texas A&M, compared to the normal 50 or so people at regular matches.
Bayer said the fans at Friday’s match helped give her momentum to perform her best.
“It’s really electrifying. It makes you want to run faster and do your best,” she said. “I know it’s a really foreign sport and not everyone knows what we do, but we ride with just as much heart as any football player plays with.”
TCU ended the night 6-3 over Baylor, 707-699.
The competition continued Saturday afternoon at Turning Point Ranch in Springtown, Texas, where the Horned Frogs call home.
TCU improved to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 play after defeating Hunt Seat national champions Baylor, now 7-4 overall and 1-3 in Big 12 play.
Sophomore Demi Stiegler collected the MOP in Equitation Over Fences 77-75 against Baylor’s Paige Parker. Contributors to TCU’s 3-2 victory in the event also included freshman Taylor Alexander at 78-74 and sophomore Kaitlin Perry at 76-74.
The Horned Frogs outscored Baylor 312-285 in Equitation on the Flat, with freshman Nikki Diamantis and junior Caitlin Ader contributing 76 and 78, respectively.
Perry led the team with an 83-68 defeat over Baylor’s Kim Woodsum, earning her the MOP on the Flat, the second in her career and first of the season.
Perry said she and her team were confident going into the match with Baylor, knowing the team would be tough to beat.
“My first semester was rough so I came into this one with more enthusiasm,” she said. “Everyone wants the (MOP) but we care more about scoring the points for the team as a whole, and working together.”
TCU’s 3-2 win on the Flat led to a 6-4 win on the day, 694-663.
Hunt Seat head coach Logan Fiorentino said she and the team would tighten their focus for future conference matchups and pay closer attention to “keeping things clean.”
“It’s about keeping that confidence and that kind of swag,” she said. “To be able to hold our own and beat [Baylor] is a good thing, and having it be the first meet of the season against the last team we saw in the fall, [the win] gave us a little redemption. We’re at a good jumping off point for this semester.”
The next match is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 15 against Fresno State. Start time is set for 12 p.m. at Turning Point Ranch.