No. 1 SMU Equestrian wins national quarterfinal

Top-ranked SMU equestrian started off the NCEA National Championships with a 10-8 comeback victory against No. 8 Baylor in the quarterfinals on April 13.

The team trailed by one point heading into the Horsemanship event but won four out of the five points behind great rides from all-Americans Mallory Vroegh, SMU graduate, and Nya Kearns, junior.

“We had to knock some rust off, but they really rode well,” said Carol Gwin, head coach of SMU equestrian. “It was a great meet and a very good competition.”

Taylor Zimmerman, senior, took home the first point of the contest for the Mustangs in the Reining event; seniors Dani Latimer and Lily Anderson also won their rides. As the team trailed 5-4 after two events, senior Alex Pielet was the only Mustang rider to pick up a point at the Fences event.

Taylor Zimmerman, senior, is a member of the SMU equestrian team.
Taylor Zimmerman, senior, at the NCEA National Championships. SMU equestrian team wins 10-8 against Baylor in the quarterfinals on April 13, 2023. Photo credit: SMU Equestrian Team

Both teams split the Flat event with Miranda Seade and Madigan Eppink winning their rides for SMU. The team still trailed 7-6 entering the final.

“These girls continue to impress me because they come out, they ride their ride and they do their thing,” Gwin said. “They don’t get caught in the silly details, and they make it happen.”

The team advanced to face their cross-metroplex rival No. 4 TCU in their third consecutive national semifinal on April 14 at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida.

“The girls are very good friends with the other girls on their team,” Gwin said, “but we’ll come out with our game face on and be ready to go.”

Click here to watch the event.