Equestrian heads south for a series of shows
The South Dakota State equestrian team travels to Martin, Tenn., this week for a weekend of shows against the UT-Martin Skyhawks and rematches with the Fresno State Bulldogs and New Mexico Aggies. Competition starts at 10 a.m. on Friday, and continues on Saturday with the championship and consolation brackets.
The Jackrabbits enter the tournament as the No. 1 seed after being ranked No. 9 nationally on the most recent coaches’ poll. They face off first against the No. 4 seed New Mexico State Aggies while No. 2 seed UT-Martin takes on No. 3 seed Fresno State.
“We’re excited to enter this tournament as the number one seed,” head coach Megan Rossiter said. “We have high expectations of the team going into this weekend and worked extremely hard to get ready.”
The Jackrabbits faced the Bulldogs and Aggies two on March 1 and 2, falling to both teams and dropping the team’s overall record to 6-6 on the season. This weekend, the team looks to come back strong and end the weekend with three straight victories.
This marks the first meeting between the Jackrabbits and Skyhawks since their 2011-12 season, where the teams tied in scores, but SDSU lost in the eventual tiebreaker.
Since the SDSU equestrian teams start in 2006, UT-Martin leads the all-time series 5-1, Fresno State leads the all-time series with SDSU 4-1, while New Mexico State holds a 4-2 advantage in the series
Following the completion of the tournament in Martin, Tenn., two Jackrabbit riders head directly to Katy, Texas for the third annual Collegiate Invitational at the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show to compete against nine other NCEA team riders in the fences and flat arena.
Competition begins at 5 p.m. on March 24, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center.
Freshman Marielle Golden from Boca Raton, Fla., takes the reins in the fences competition. Golden showed in both fences and flat for the Jackrabbits, recently earning the MOP honors over fences against the SMU Mustangs on Feb. 24.
"I’m extremely proud that Marielle is representing South Dakota State at this prestigious competition over fences,” assistant coach Kamerra Brown said. “She’s very deserving of this honor and I expect her to represent the Jackrabbits well."
Senior Megan Schiffman from Lynden, Wa. steps into the flat arena at Pin Oak to demo the pattern for the first Collegiate Invitational flat phase. Schiffman competed for the Jackrabbits in the flat arena all four years, earning numerous MOP honors and a chance to perform a demo ride at the 2012 NCEA National Championships.
"Schiffman represents the Jacks in the flat phase, this year,” Brown said. “This event is new this year and should be an awesome opportunity for Megan."
This competition is formatted much like a regular horse show, with riders drawing horses and riding in head-to-head, single elimination competition, with the final rides being for the consolation and championship bracket winners.
The proceeds from the show go to benefit a number of charities, including the Ronald McDonald house and Texas Children’s Hospital.