Equestrian opens spring competition with home exhibition wins over NDSU, Alabama

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The SDSU equestrian team opened its spring schedule with exhibition wins over Alabama and North Dakota State University, beating the Crimson Tide 7-3 in hunt seat and the Bison 5-3 in western.

“It went really well. It was our senior meet, so all our seniors competed. It was a scrimmage, but it was a really great way to get the semester started,” SDSU head coach Megan Rossiter said. “Obviously we like to win, but we were more focused on the process and really excellent performances.”

The Jackrabbits took four of the five points on the flat, with Marielle Golden earning Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honors with a score of 85. Jessica Andronowitz, Mandy Gradert and Jordan Goodall also won their points.

Golden also led the Jacks over fences with a score of 78. Goodall earned her point with a 69 and Andronowitz with score of 70. Alabama’s Haley Mapes earned MOP over fences with a score of 79.

SDSU swept all four points in reining, with Raivenne Scott earning MOP with a score of 73. Maria Wright, Miranda Sullivan and Danielle Baker also won reining points.

North Dakota State topped the Jackrabbits 2-1 in horsemanship, with NDSU’s Nicole Anderson earning MOP honors with a score of 70.5. Andie Vsetecka scored a 72 for the Jacks lone horsemanship point.

Despite hosting the meet and using SDSU’s horses, the Jacks did not have the home field advantage one might expect. 

“The horses were not very good – they were pretty wild,” Rossiter said. “But that brought out some good things, there were some really smart choices made in the arena and a lot of really great rides even though the horses were uncooperative.”

The Jacks equestrian team returns to action on Feb. 20 and 21 when they host Minnesota-Crookston and Fresno State to open National Collegiate Equestrian Association action for the spring semester. 

“We’ve got good momentum; now we focus on specific maneuvers with the riders,” Rossiter said. “Fresno is a pretty good team but we know we can beat them if we make good       decisions in the ring. Crookston, we historically beat, their program isn’t quite as strong as ours, but if we don’t ride smart we can get beat. The team has a really good mindset, so I think we’re set up for a really good spring.”