UTM equestrian team opens spring season with heart-breaking loss to South Carolina
Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 8:44 am
“We lost by inches against a top school who has been a VENC (Varsity Equestrian National Championship) contender year in and year out,” said Meghan Cunningham, UT Martin’s head equestrian coach. “It was a heart-break with minor mistakes making the difference between a win and loss today.”
In the Hunter seat discipline, South Carolina won the equitation 3-1. UT Martin’s Michelle Thompson claimed the only point with a 71-point ride.
UT Martin won the equitation over fences 3-1. Brittany Kasparack, Madeline Brown and Caroline Cramer scored points for the host Skyhawks. Cramer picked up the MVP with a 79-point ride.
In the Western seat, UT Martin and South Carolina rode to a 2-2 tie in both horsemanship and reigning. Hannah Derks and Kendra Leake picked up points for the Skyhawks. Amanda Weedon and Lauren Eichstadt claimed points in the reigning. Eichstadt won the MVP honor with her 77-point ride.
With victories against South Carolina, UT Martin’s Thompson (flat), Cramer (fences) and Weedon (reigning) remain undefeated on the season.
The UTM equestrian team returns to action Feb. 14, when it travels to Fresno, Calif., for the Best of the West Tournament. The Skyhawks will compete against Fresno State and TCU.
Although Cunningham was disappointed with the loss, she said her team will be ready for its next show.
“We will move forward for our next competition with high expectations,” said the coach.