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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Townsend rides her way to MVP title in second season

Renick+Towsend+earned+MVP+honors+with+a+score+of+87+on+the+flat+against+Delaware+State+last+year
Courtesy of SMU Athletics
Renick Towsend earned MVP honors with a score of 87 on the flat against Delaware State last year

Renick Towsend earned MVP honors with a score of 87 on the flat against Delaware State last year (Courtesy of SMU Athletics )

The SMU Equestrian team has started the 2011-2012 season with full force, bringing home two victories.

For sophomore equestrian Renick Townsend, riding a horse is practically second nature.

Townsend earned MVP honors during an exhibition match at Baylor and also during the season opener against TCU, where the Mustangs brought home a 6-4 victory.

Townsend has been riding since she was only 3-years-old.

“Its kind of a family business,” Townsend, who grew up on a farm in West Palm Beach, Fla., said.

With riding in her blood, Townsend knew after visiting SMU only once she wanted to be a part of the school and the equestrian program.

However, being apart of SMU’s equestrian program isn’t as easy as the athletes involved make it seem.

When Townsend and the Mustangs aren’t at their afternoon practices, chances are you’ll find the team in the weight room.

Endless training may be required, but the team doesn’t mind because it means they’ll be riding in matches to the best of their ability.

“We’re looking forward to the competition,” Townsend said.

Even though she’s only a sophomore, Townsend knows that leadership is an important factor in the growth of a program.

The team acquired 10 new freshmen for this season.

As an upperclassmen, Townsend is hoping to continuously exemplify a winning attitude for the rest of the team.

“It can get frustrating if you ever lose or anything so it’s important to keep everyone positive,” Townsend said.

Leading the pack this season is SMU Equestrian Head Coach Haley Schoolfield who has been head of the program since 2009.

When asked what her favorite part of SMU Equestrian is it didn’t take a second before she answered “the girls.”

“It’s really special to work with top athletes that want to be Division 1 athletes and get a great education at the same time,” Schoolfield, who joined the program after being an assistant coach for our cross-town rivals TCU for two seasons, said.

The Mustangs will be on the road for a three-match set beginning on Oct. 21 in Dover, Del. Dover State and New Mexico will be competing against the Ponies during their road trip.

With a 2-1 start, the team’s only defeat was to Oklahoma State where the Cowgirls beat SMU 9-1.

Teammate Lauren Hogan was the only Mustang to earn a point when she outscored her opponent 68-67 over fences.

Even though fall is approaching, the equestrian season has only just begun. The next home match will be at BuckBranch Farm on Oct. 28 against South Carolina.  

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