AUBURN, Ala. (EETV) - The No. 2 Auburn equestrian team is set to end off their fall season with a road trip through Texas to take on No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 Baylor. The Tigers will face off against the Aggies on Thursday, Nov 18 at 1 p.m. CST before heading to Waco to take on the Bears Friday, Nov 19 at 11 a.m CST.
The Tigers are coming into the week fresh off an 11-8 win against the No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks.
"We're facing two incredibly talented and tough teams on the road in Texas," head coach Greg Williams said. "We've been tested already this year so I'm confident our team is going to be ready to face whatever challenges come our way this week.
"Baylor has become more uniformed on both sides of competition and is a really balanced team," Williams said. "Texas A&M is riding well in all facets, but especially on the Jumping Seat side. It's going to be a big test for us to close out the fall."
Senior Emma Kurtz, junior Ava Stearns, sophomore Ellie Ferrigno and freshman Sophee Steckbeck will lead the Jumping Seat squad and compete in both Fences and Flat against both teams.
Stearns is coming off NCEA and SEC Fences Rider of the Month honors after going 6-0-0 in the event in October. Ferrigno has five wins in fences to her name, while Kurtz and Steckbeck each have four in both Fences and Flat.
Joining them in Fences will be senior Meghan Knapic. She's also second on the team with five wins in the event. Fifth year senior Helen Ulrich is set to compete in Flat against Texas A&M Thursday while freshman Anna Maria Mayes will ride in Flat at Baylor.
The Western corps will be guided by graduates Taylor Searles and Terri-June Granger.
Searles is slated to compete in both Horsemanship and Reining. She leads the team with a 5-0-0 mark in Horsemanship and is coming off an SEC Rider of the Month honor. She also stands at 4-1-0 in Reining.
Auburn will start the same lineup in Horsemanship over both meets. Joining Searles will be juniors Maddie Spak and Olivia Tordoff as well as sophomores Jacqueline Frimodt and Madison Parduhn. Tordoff is enjoying a three-match winning streak and three-straight MOPs.
The pair of graduates will lead a youthful Reining corps. Junior Boo Kammerer and sophomore Isabella Tesmer will ride in both meets for the Tigers. Sophomore Olivia Marino will go against TAMU, while Kate Buchanan is down to compete at Baylor.
Auburn and Texas A&M look forward to an SEC matchup, both teams have defeated Georgia and South Carolina this fall and each looks to take control of the SEC.
Auburn leads the all-time series, 23-6, against the Aggies, winning 14 of the last 15 meetings. All six Aggie wins have come at Bryan-College Station.
The 4-1 Tigers and 3-1 Bears will meet for a rematch of the 2021 NCEA Championship quarterfinals in which the Bears defeated the Tigers 8-7. The teams have a single common opponent this year in Oklahoma State which gave both teams trouble, defeating both squads by a final score of 10-9.
Auburn leads the all-time series 12-3 with Baylor and is 4-2 in meets competed in Waco during the regular season.
With the culmination of the fall season, the Tigers will take a couple months off before the start of the spring season. Auburn will host SUNY New Paltz, Sewanee and Dartmouth at the Auburn University Equestrian Center, Jan. 28-29 for a jumping seat only meet.