The Horned Frog equestrian team fell to one of the best Hunt Seat teams in the nation Saturday in its last regular season game.The Horned Frogs closed out their inaugural regular season with a 12-6 loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks, the defending national champions in Hunt Seat.
The Gamecocks have a perfect 10-0 Hunt Seat record, which is the English team in equestrian. South Carolina dominated TCU in the Equitation over the Fences by sweeping all four of four possible points, with three scores in the 90s and a low score of 85 out of 100. In Equitation on the Flat, TCU’s Caitlin Sewell picked up the lone point for her school with a score of 83.
Riders are judged on their ability to control their horse, clear fences or complete patterns of walking, trotting, cantering or standing still. Riders from opposing teams are paired against each other by the horse they draw.
Senior Ellen Hogate for the Gamecocks took second place in the jump event with an overall score of 93 by defeating TCU rider Emma Carl on the horse Paddy.
“Some show-judges judge hire,” Hogate said. “Sometimes the highest score will be in the 70s, but it definitely feels better to get the score in the 90s.”
The Equitation over the Fences’ most difficult combination of slowing the horse down to a trot between fences gave several TCU riders some trouble.
Sophomore Emma Carl struggled with her horse Paddy in the first set when he misread her signals and stopped completely just before the fence.
Carl maneuvered Paddy around once and tried the jump again, this time clearing it, but her score suffered. The judges marked Carol down to a 50 out of 100.
Jennifer Currie, who said she hadn’t ridden English for two weeks because her last two shows were Western, also had a hard time managing her horse.
“I think I put too much leg on the horse turn before instead of after the jump, and then i just kind of fell apart after that,” Currie said.
Currie, a junior, placed fourth in the first set with a score of 58.
She attributed USC’s success in the jump equitation to the experience of their program.
USC has 46 girls on its team and is in its tenth season, compared to TCU’s 17-woman roster in its first season.
Head coach Gary Reynolds said the Frogs didn’t have its best day today against a team it needed to be sharp for.
“We didn’t get our horses jumping very good today,” Reynolds said. “South Carolina’s a good team, but that happens; you have good days and bad days.”
TCU faired slightly better with its Western team, which has qualified for the national championship in April.
TCU pulled ahead to win the horsemanship competition 3-2, but South Carolina took the lead again by the same score in the reining competition.
Junior Kat Rhode won her first MVP honors in the equitation on the flat with a score of 72 and Chloe Baker earned another in horsemanship with a score of 75.
TCU’s and South Carolina’s Western teams will most likely face off April 18 in Waco at Nationals.
South Carolina will finish its Texas tour Sunday by competing against Southern Methodist University in Dallas.