March 30, 2011

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - No. 1 Texas A&M plays host to the third-annual Big 12 Equestrian Championship this Friday and Saturday at the Brazos County Expo Complex in Bryan. Action gets underway both days at 10 a.m. and admission is free.

The other three league schools that sponsor the sport--Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas State--will join the Aggies to take part in the bracket-style team championship.

"We're excited to bring this event here to Aggieland," head coach Tana McKay said. "These teams see each other so much and know each other so well that it's created some very intense competition over the last few years. I know that our team is fired up and ready for Friday, and we look forward to competing for the Big 12 title. It should be a lot of fun."

A&M is the top-seed and will face No. 4-seed K-State in Friday's semifinal round. The winner will face the Baylor/OSU winner on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the title.

The format is similar to regular-season competition. Teams will enter four riders in each of the four disciplines--equitation over fences, equitation on the flat, horsemanship and reining--with a total of 16 points at stake. All four schools will compete simultaneously, with final team scores calculated in head-to-head matchups.

Baylor is the defending champion, having edged the Aggies in last year's championship in Waco. Oklahoma State won the inaugural event in 2009 in Stillwater.

The fences and horsemanship competitions will take place simultaneously in the Expo Complex's South and East Arenas, respectively, to be followed by the Reining and Flat competitions. Live results will be available on aggieathletics.com throughout both days for those unable to attend the show.

The 3,000-seat Expo Complex is located at 5827 Leonard Road in Bryan.

BIG 12 EQUESTRIAN CHAMPIONSHIP

THE FIELD

Seed  Team (Record)        Natl Rk   Best Big 12 Finish
1. Texas A&M (10-1) 1st 2nd, 2010
2. Oklahoma State (7-5) 4th 1st, 2009
3. Baylor (10-6) 5th 1st, 2010
4. Kansas State (5-8) 7th 4th, 2009/2010

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, April 1 (Semifinals)
(#1) Texas A&M vs (#4) Kansas State / (#2) Oklahoma State vs (#3) Baylor

10:00 AM: Opening Ceremonies (South Arena)
10:30 AM: Equitation over Fences (South Arena), Horsemanship (East Arena)
1:00 PM: Reining (South Arena), Equitation on the Flat (East Arena)

Saturday, April 2 (Championship/Third-Place)
10:00 AM: Equitation over Fences (South Arena), Horsemanship (East Arena)
12:30 PM: Reining (South Arena), Equitation on the Flat (East Arena)