MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team began its season with a valiant effort today before falling by a 13-7 margin to the No. 3 Auburn Tigers at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion.
The Skyhawks took three of the five points awarded in equitation on the flat on their way to tying the score at 5-all through the Hunt Seat portion of today’s competition. However, Auburn was able to manage an 8-2 advantage in the two Western events on its way to the win in the season-opener for both squads.
In equitation on the flat, Claire Ottinger claimed a team point for UT Martin with a 77-point effort. Monika Zoromski and Randi LaChance each accounted for a 67-point ride to earn a team point for the Skyhawks.
All five UT Martin participants in equitation over fences notched a score of 71 points or higher. Quinn Reed secured a team point for the Skyhawks in her collegiate debut, tallying a score of 74 points. LaChance also captured her second team point in as many tries, posting a score of 73 points.
The scores were tight in both horsemanship and reining as Auburn won three head-to-head matchups by 1.5 points or less.
Lucy Eier emerged as a winner in her collegiate debut, accumulating 72 points in horsemanship. Madeline Williams opened her senior campaign on a high note as well, earning a victory in reining with a 69.5-point performance.
However, the Skyhawk upset bid came up just short as Auburn won four team points in both horsemanship and reining.
UT Martin returns to action during the first weekend of October when it travels to Dover, Del. for a pair of competitions against nationally ranked squads. The Skyhawks will take on No. 6 TCU on Friday, Oct. 6 before squaring off against No. 10 Delaware State on Saturday, Oct. 7.