The seventh-seeded Aggies (8-7) were impressive in both disciplines, winning three of four rides in each against the 10th-seeded Bulldogs to advance to the quarterfinals for the sixth consecutive season.
A&M set the tone early, with its first three riders-Haley Buchmiller, Hannah Soibleman and Maggie Earle-picking up wins on the flat and burying Fresno in an early hole. After the Bulldogs won the final ride of flat and the first over fences to pull within one, decisive victories by Lia Chafee and Maggie Earle clinched the overall team win. Leah Chenelle then bested her opponent by 13 points to give the Aggies their sixth and final point.
Texas A&M advances to now face No. 2-seed South Carolina in Friday's quarterfinals. Competition is scheduled to get underway around 8:30 a.m. (CT). The teams last met in last year's championships, with the Gamecocks squeaking out a narrow 5-3 victory.
Meanwhile, the three-time defending national champion A&M western team will begin its NCEA competition later this afternoon at about 4:30 p.m. when the top-seeded Aggies meet either Fresno State or New Mexico State in the quarterfinals.
Scoring updates throughout the weekend will be provided on aggieathletics.com and through the Aggies' official twitter feed at @AggieEquestrian. In addition, free live video will be available on collegiateequestrian.com.
(#7) Texas A&M 6, (#10) Fresno State 2
NCEA Championship - Hunter Seat, First Round
Thursday, April 12, 2012 - Extraco Events Center - Waco, Texas
Equitation on the Flat (A&M 3, Fresno 1)
Haley Buchmiller, A&M def. Lanie Madrazo, FRS, 144-130
Hannah Soibleman, A&M def. Kimberly Hewson-Budnick, FRS, 156-147
Maggie Earle, A&M def. Nicole Roworth, FRS, 141-115
Macy Wilson, FRS def. Elizabeth Solch, A&M, 153-131
Equitation over Fences (A&M 3, Fresno 1)
Chelsie Stone, FRS def. Emily Williams, A&M, 139-120
Lia Chafee, A&M def. Holly Elsbernd, FRS, 166-125
Maggie Earle, A&M def. Hillary West, FRS, 159-107
Leah Chenelle, A&M def. Kara Spicer, FRS, 144-129
NCEA CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE/RESULTS
First Round: (#7) Texas A&M 6, (#10) Fresno State 2
Quarterfinals: (#7) Texas A&M vs (#2) South Carolina, 8:30 a.m. (Friday)
(#1) Texas A&M vs (#8) Fresno State/(#9) New Mexico State, approx. 4:30 p.m.