Sylvia de Toledo
April 15, 2014
WACO, Texas (SMU) - The No. 10 SMU equestrian team will take on No. 7 New Mexico State in the first round of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championship on Thursday at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. This year's championship marks the first year that the tournament will combine both hunter seat and western. SMU and New Mexico State met in the hunter seat first round a year ago, with the Mustangs advancing off a 6-2 victory.
"It's an exciting time of year," head coach Natalie Burton said. "You never know when you add a new program (western), how you're going to stack up against opponents throughout the season. I'm so excited that we made it to Nationals with a new western team. They've really come along as the year has progressed. I think our riders are very excited about this opportunity. They have a bit of a chip on their shoulder coming in, and know they have a lot to prove."
The Aggies and Mustangs split their two regular season meetings this season, with both programs winning their home competitions. SMU has a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series, and is 2-0 in neutral site meetings, including last season's first round win.
De Toledo, who finished third at the Pin Oak Invitational last month, leads the Mustangs over fences with an 11-4 record, including five MOP rides for the Mustangs. The SMU freshman has tallied an 80 or higher on 13 of her 15 rides this season. Raposa is 9-4 over fences this season, with four of her nine wins earning MOP accolades. The SMU sophomore has 10 fences rides of 80 or more this season, including a stretch of nine-straight from September 29-February 15. SMU's lone senior in the lineup, Julianna Fischer, is 6-5-1 over fences this season, including an MOP ride against South Carolina. Junior Emma Roberts enters Thursday's NCEA First Round with two wins in her last four appearances. Roberts also brings a 3-1 flat record into the first round.
Junior Courtney Line has led the reigning lineup with a 4-3-1 record in her last eight appearances, including an MOP ride on November 23 against Auburn. Freshman Hannah McCain has recorded five wins in horsemanship this season to lead SMU, including two MOP performances. Last time out, freshmen Morgan Redwine and Jaclyn White swept both western events against TCU to give the Mustangs their four points in the discipline on the day.
The winner of the New Mexico State and SMU matchup will take on No. 2 Oklahoma State in the NCEA Quarterfinals on Friday.
SMU's Schedule Of Events On Thursday
Flat - 8:45 a.m.
Reining - 11:10 a.m.
Fences - 1:50 p.m.
Horsemanship - 3:50 p.m.