Horned Frogs Travel To National Championships In Waco


April 10, 2012

FORT WORTH, Texas- The TCU equestrian program heads to Waco this week for the 2012 NCEA National Championships, which will begin on Thursday at the Extraco Events Center.

The Hunt Seat squad, who comes into nationals as the No. 8 seed, will open up with No. 9 Kansas State at 8:30 a.m. CT Thursday with Equitation on the Flat. The winner of the contest between the Horned Frogs and Wildcats will advance to face No. 1 seeded Auburn.

"I'm looking forward to competing against Kansas State in the first round of nationals," said Hunt Seat head coach Logan Fiorentino. "Kansas State is a very good team and we have been preparing to face them for the past two weeks. I'm excited for the opportunity to compete for a National Championship with this group of outstanding young women. They have been dedicated to this since we started back in September and have continued to improve throughout the season. We have been challenged all season and I expect the NCEA National Championships to be no different. This team has all of the ability in the world and is very prepared to take on the challenge."

On the Western side, the No. 10 seeded Frogs will take on No. 7 Baylor Thursday, which will begin at 8:30 a.m. CT with Reining inside the Extraco Coliseum. With a victory against the Bears, the Purple and White would advance to face off against No. 2 seeded Oklahoma State.

"The Western team has rode amazing the last two weeks in preparation for nationals," said interim Western head coach Kindel Huffman. "We are excited to compete against Baylor in the first round as we have not been matched up against them this season. We have worked very hard and are ready to win a NCEA National Championship."

The Horned Frogs head to nationals receiving votes in the national poll after wrapping up regular-season action with four victories on the year. In all, this is the sixth-straight year in which the Frogs have been invited to nationals.

Follow The Horned Frogs
Fans not able to attend the 2012 NCEA National Championships can follow the action live by logging onto www.gofrogs.com. Following each day in Waco, a full recap and final results will be posted daily on the TCU athletics website. A live webcast will also be made available during competition by clicking on the live video link on the right side of the schedule page.

National Championship History
When TCU begins competition on Thursday in Waco, the Frogs will carry a storied history into nationals. In 2008, the Purple and White captured the Western National Championship. They followed that up in 2009 earning Reserve Western National Championship accolades, falling to Texas A&M in the finals.

Two years ago, the squad made program history, wrapping up competition in fourth-place in the final team standings at the 2010 Varsity Equestrian National Championships. The fourth-place finish is the highest placing for a Horned Frog squad at nationals. The TCU Western squad collected fifth-place, while the Hunt Seat team placed sixth overall on the final day of the championships at the Heart O' Texas Fair Complex. The sixth-place showing on the English side is highest placing for a Horned Frog Hunt Seat team at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships.

Individually, former Horned Frog great Carrie von Uhlit was crowned the 2009 individual champion in Reining, while now senior Courtney Chown brought home second-place honors in Horsemanship in 2009, dropping a heartbreaker in the finals to Texas A&M's Caroline Gunn.

Horned Frogs Honored For Their Work In Classroom
The National Collegiate Equestrian Association recently named eight TCU equestrian student-athletes to its Academic All-America list for the 2011-12 season.

"Grades and academics are a huge part of our athletics program here at TCU and I am very thankful that these girls have been recognized for their efforts," said interim Western head coach Kindel Huffman. "In all, I'm very proud of Courtney Chown, Alexie Estrada, Devin Spencer, Lyndsi Hardin and Kolby Simonson for making Academic All-American on the Western side."

Earning first team Academic All-America accolades was junior Haley Jacobi, while Alexie Estrada, Kolby Simonson and Devin Spencer collected second team recognition. Courtney Chown, Taylor Frederick, Lyndsi Hardin and Callie Selchau rounded out the Horned Frog selections by taking home honorable mention honors.

Horned Frogs Earn All-America Status
Freshman Kaitlin Perry and junior Alexie Estrada were recently named 2011-12 National Collegiate Equestrian Association All-America honorees. The duo collected honorable mention accolades, marking the second-straight year in which the Horned Frogs have had at least two Horned Frogs earn honorable mention All-American status.

Perry, a California native, closed the regular-season with a 9-3-1 record and one MVP accolade in Equitation on the Flat. By earning honorable mention honors, the freshman becomes only the second student-athlete in program history to earn All-America accolades in Equitation on the Flat, joining teammate Callie Selchau, who also claimed honorable mention status a year ago.

Estrada had a stellar junior campaign, going 8-4-1 in Horsemanship with two MVP honors. The California product becomes the third student-athlete in program history to claim All-America status in Horsemanship. She joins senior Courtney Chown and former Horned Frog Ashley Aikman as the only other Frogs to earn the prestigious honor.

Scouting Kansas State Hunt Seat
K-State's Hunt Seat squad comes into the tournament with a 5-6-3 record and as the No. 9 seed. TCU and the Wildcats last met on October 22, where they battled to a 5-5 draw in Hunt Seat action.

Larissa Laffey has led the way for the Frogs with 10 victories on the year. She was recently named to the 2012 All-Big 12 team as a unanimous selection in Equitation on the Flat. In Equitation over Fences, Sarah Mershon, who was a All-Big 12 selection as well as an NCEA honorable mention All-American, has collected 10 wins heading into nationals.

Scouting Baylor Western
Baylor comes into Thursday's showdown with an 8-7 Western record after falling to both Texas A&M and Kansas State at the Big 12 Championships. In all, the Bears have won two out of their last four in the event, including their final two regular-season contests.

In their last two outings, Parris Rice scored the lone point for the Bears against Texas A&M in Horsemanship, while Ellie Powell earned a point in Reining. Against Kansas State, Baylor tied the Wildcats in Horsemanship, but dropped a 4-0 decision in Reining at the Big 12 Championships.

Scouting TCU
TCU comes into Thursday's showdown looking for its fifth win of the season. The Horned Frogs are currently 4-10 on the year and are receiving votes in the current national rankings.

The Frogs have had several individuals post impressive victories during the 2011-12 campaign.

On the Western side, TCU is currently 4-9 overall as Alexie Estrada has a season record of 8-4-1 with two MVP accolades, while Taylor Prince is 8-5-0 in Horsemanship. In Reining, Samantha Bayer has garnered four wins and three MVP honors on the year.

Several student-athletes have excelled on the Hunt Seat side as the Frogs are 6-5-2 heading into this Thursday's competitions. Haley Jacobi has carried the Purple and White in Equitation over Fences with a 8-5-0 record, while Kaitlin Perry has shined recently as she has brought her season record to 9-3-1 with one MVP accolade in Equitation on the Flat.

A Look Back
TCU and Kansas State will be facing each other in the opening round of nationals for a second-straight year Thursday. Last April, the No. 9 seeded Horned Frog Hunt Seat team opened the day downing No. 8 Kansas State, 5-3. The Frogs, who have won their opening round dual in English each of the last two years, outscored the Wildcats, 1,026-977.



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