Opening weekend of the 2023-2024 equestrian season saw No. 2 ranked Auburn beat No. 9 U.C. Davis, 14-4.
“Our returners really stepped up today,” said head coach Jessica Braswell. “The experience puts you at ease knowing that they’ve been there and done that. We had a lot of freshmen compete as well and they all were great for their first meet. I’m really excited with what we saw today from this team.”
It marked Braswell’s first win as head coach of the Auburn equestrian team. She is in her 11th season with the team, including her eighth as an associate head coach overseeing the jumping seat discipline.
“It feels great to get the first win,” Braswell said. “A big thank you to all the fans that came out to support us. The crowd is always a huge factor for us so I’m glad to get the first win done and ready to get some more.”
Auburn (1-0) had a good number of Most Outstanding performers. Those included senior Isabella Tesmer, who was awarded in reigning; junior Anna Marie, awarded in in flat; sophomore Caroline Fredenburg, awarded in horsemanship; then freshman Avery Glynn honored for her performance in fences.
The first half had the Tigers up 5-3 in a tightly contested battle, but the second half was where Auburn pulled away 9-1 between fences and horsemanship to take the win 14-4.
The fences corps downed the Aggies, 5-0, starting the season off with a sweep. Glynn started things off with her MOP ride, scoring a 90 for the victory. Juniors Mary-Grace Segars and Sophee Steckbeck followed with a couple of victories and freshman Alex Ryden received the first win of her career 82-74. Senior Ellie Ferrigno finished with an 86 in her six-point win to conduct a full sweep.
In horsemanship, Auburn pulled together a 4-1 win over UC Davis. Senior Madison Parduhn kicked off the event with a 76-72 win, and freshman Alexis Potts followed with a 74.5 to take the point. Sophomore Alexia Tordoff and Fredenburg each earned a 77 to win their match ups.
The Tigers emerged with a 5-3 lead in the meet after flat and reining, watching the flat corps go 4-1 against the Aggies to kick off the day.
Ferringo started with a 90-86 lead over her opponent and followed by Anna Marie Mayes, who ended with a career-best 92. Steckbeck earned herself an 82-80 victory, while Glynn rounded off the event with a 91 to best her opponent’s 78.
Tesmer tacked on the lone point in reining for the Tigers, with a MOP score of 72.5 on her ride. Sophomore Caroline Buchanan tied her opponent with a career-best 72.5 on hers. Tordoff tied up her match up as well, with a 72.5 to end the afternoon.
Auburn will have its first true road test heading to Texas to face off against No. 7 Baylor on Oct. 6. The two ranked teams will face off against one another at 11 a.m. CST in Waco, Texas.
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William Halliday started with The Plainsman in fall 2022. He is a journalism major from Memphis, Tennessee.