Equestrian team to compete in Big 12 Championships

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    Going into the 2013 Big 12 Championships, the No. 2 tournament seeded TCU equestrian team could be the first sports team at the university to claim a conference champion title.

    “They’re ready to establish themselves as contenders,” Hunt Seat head coach Logan Fiorentino said.

    TCU would begin the tournament Friday against No. 4 Kansas State in the opening round of the weekend in Stillwater, Okla.

    The Horned Frogs defeated the Wildcats 14-6 overall the last time the two teams met on March 2, with the Western team claiming a 9-1 decision and Hunt Seat posting a 5-5 draw.

    On the year, TCU went 1-1 against Kansas State.

    Sophomore Kaitlin Perry said she and her teammates were confident about their chances in the match up, and that they have been working hard leading up to the tournament.

    The winner of the TCU/Kansas State bracket would advance to play the winner of the Oklahoma State/Baylor bracket Saturday for the conference title.

    TCU is 1-1 on the year with No. 1 seeded Oklahoma State. The Horned Frogs are 2-1 against No. 4 Baylor.

    Each school would have eight horses available for the tournament, with one horse from each school in the draw of each bracket.

    Fiorentino said the tournament was a great and challenging opportunity for the team to be involved in, and a stepping-stone for the NCEA National Championships in April.

    She also said it would be an effective means of preparing the athletes and horses physically and mentally for their rides. Overall, she said she would be looking at the functionality and style of each ride.

    “Every equestrian has their own style of riding, it’s just like a pitching style,” Fiorentino said. “It has to be functional but fashionable. We have to make sure [the ride] is pleasant-looking, seamless and polished for the judges.”

    TCU enters the tournament looking for its ninth win of the season. The Horned Frogs are No. 5 in national polls, closing the regular season 8-5 overall and 3-3 in league play.