Equestrian team prepared for the SEC tournament | Sports
Starting Friday, the Texas A&M Equestrian Team will compete in their first SEC Championship tournament since 2019.
Last season was cut short due to COVID-19. Despite the challenges, the Aggies qualified to compete in Georgia for a league title alongside Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina.
With 12 to 13 games in a normal season, A&M coach Tana McKay noted that this team has only appeared in seven games.
âIt hasn’t changed the way we operate or compete, but I think it put more pressure on everyone to try and get those W’s,â McKay said.
With 52 members, the runners had to train at different times due to security measures related to COVID-19 and did not always have the opportunity to see each other. McKay said the large group was still able to connect.
âWe’re really working on team unity and a family atmosphere,â McKay said. “This team thought outside the box and still made an effort to get to know their teammates, even though it was through Zoom.”
The team traveled for the 2018 Conference Championship, and A&M hosted the event in 2019. The upper class students will use their experience to help set the tone for this weekend, McKay said.
The No.3 Aggies enter the championship behind No.1 Auburn and No.2 Georgia, 3-4 overall in the regular season and 2-4 in conference. Earlier in the season, the Aggies won over South Carolina, but lost to Auburn and Georgia.
Haley Redifer, a junior member of the Hunt Seat team, said she believes it is important for the team to be around each other to push each other to prepare. When it’s time to compete, she said they don’t want curved balls thrown at them.
âWin or lose, I think we’re all very excited to be able to be around different teams and watch our horses compete,â said Redifer.
The Aggies are scheduled to compete in the SEC Championship March 26-27 in Bishop, Ga.