Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - For the fourth-straight season the New Mexico State equestrian team will travel to the Varsity Equestrian National Championships (VENC) at the Heart of Texas Fair and Rodeo Complex, April 15-17, in Waco, Texas. The Aggies qualified both teams for this year’s varsity championship as the Western team enters the 2010 VENC as the No. 7 seed and the Hunter Seat team earned a No. 9 seed.
"This year has been a success for both teams," head coach Andrea Hanson said. "We made great strides on the Hunter Seat team, especially in Equitation on the Flat. Our Western team has been strong all season long and is going into the championships with a ton of experience. We are looking forward to competing against Fresno State in the Hunter Seat competition and South Carolina on the Western side."
The Hunter Seat was selected as the No. 9 seed and will compete at this year’s championships after missing the 2009 championships. The Aggies will face the No. 8 seed Fresno State on Thursday, April 15. This season the Aggies lost the first meeting against the Bulldogs but won their second meeting late in the season. The NM State Hunter Seat team finished the regular season 5-6 overall.
The Aggie Western team is seeded No. 7 going into nationals and will compete against the No. 10 seeded, South Carolina. If the Aggies win their first round match up they will compete against the No. 2 seed Auburn. The Aggies fell to South Carolina earlier in the season. On the season, the Western team was 5-6 overall.
Twelve Hunter Seat and twelve Western teams were chosen to participate by the VENC Selection Committee. Championship awards are given to the tournament's overall winner as well as the best English and Western programs.
Two NM State riders were also selected to compete at the VENC as individuals. Rebecca McReynolds was picked to compete in the Reining competition, while Chelsea Keyes earned an individual spot in the Equitation on the Flat competition.
"McReynolds earned five MVP honors in 12 shows which is outstanding and has rode great all season long," Hanson said. "Keyes was a late addition to the roster but I thought she made a great transition to make the top-8 in the country in the Flat discipline."
McReynolds finished the season with a 9-2 record in Reining, including five MVP honors. Keyes was 7-4 in Equitation on the Flat, earning two MVP on the season.