MARTIN, Tennessee- The University of Tennessee at Martin equestrian team saved one of their best performances of the fall campaign for last, making short work of the South Dakota State Jackrabbits with a 13-6 triumph at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Pavilion.
Ranked 9th in this week’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association poll, the Skyhawks accumulated three MOPs on the day. Sydney Hott collected her second MOP of the season with 85 points in jumping Julia Gilman produced a whopping 97 points to snag top honors in Flat – her first of the season. Lexi Bailey also received a MOP award after a 76 point horsemanship performance – her second MOP award of the year.
UT Martin maintained a commanding 8-2 lead in the jumping seat discipline, along with a 5-4 point lead during the Western events.
The Skyhawks secured four individual show jumping victories – crowned by Hott’s fourth win of the season. Gilman was responsible for their team-high win on the sixth fence after an 84-point performance. Haley Kane (81 points) and Elizabeth Becker (76.5) also recorded their fourth win of the season Tyler Anderson (78 points) also represented UT Martin in the event.
Gilman’s historic ride on the flat was the highlight of the day as the Barrington, Illinois senior surpassed her previous career-high 89 points, set twice last season. Hott (89 points) and Kane (77 points) each had their team-best fifth win of the 2022-23 season Sophia Sundems A score of 82 gave the Skyhawks four wins in five tries in the event.
In horsemanship, Bailey’s 76 was her second win of the year, tied Emma Shepherd (72.5 points) for the team leader in this category. This UT-Martin duo were the only two people who could claim head-to-head victories in horsemanship Keely Seiter (68.5 points), Kate Davis (66.5) and Paige Benson (64.5) were narrowly beaten.
Bailey continued her successful day with a career-high 72 points in reining, earning her second win of the season in the category. Logan Putwinski reached a season-high with 71 points while earning their team-best fifth win of the 2022-23 season. Davis’ 68.5-point performance was good enough for her fourth win of the season, while Marci Leath (career-best 69 points) and Aubrey Malone (64.5) completed the Skyhawk lineup.
UT Martin will now take the next two months off official competition, opening his spring roster with a Jan. 27-28 swing through the Lone Star State for meets against Baylor and SMU.