No. 7 TCU Heads to NCEA National Championships


April 15, 2013

Western Bracket | Hunt Seat Bracket

FORT WORTH, Texas- No. 7 TCU heads to Waco this week for the 2013 NCEA National Championships, which will begin on Thursday at the Extraco Events Center.

The Hunt Seat squad, who comes into nationals as the No. 5 seed, will open competition against No. 12 South Dakota State Thursday, which will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the opening round of Equitation on the Flat. The winner between the Horned Frogs and Jackrabbits will advance to face No. 4 seeded Auburn Friday.

"I'm looking forward to competing at the NCEA Championships," said Hunt Seat head coach Logan Fiorentino. "This team started preparing for this tournament at the end of last season and they have been committed 110 percent to challenging for a national title. It has been a good year for us. The team has learned a lot about itself and what they are capable of achieving. We worked really hard to earn the No. 5 seed and will see some great teams throughout the tournament. We are prepared for each and every one of them. It will take everyone competing at their best to advance to the championship round. I believe in this team and what they are able to accomplish."

On the Western side, the No. 4 seeded Frogs will have to wait until Friday to begin action in Waco. The Purple and White will face the winner of No. 5 South Carolina and No. 12 New Mexico State at 9:00 a.m. with the first round of Reining.

"We have been working really hard the last couple of weeks in preparation for the championships," said Western head coach Kindel Huffman. "The girls are riding great, feeling confident and ready to go. We are definitely ready to finish our season strong."

This is the seventh-straight year in which the Horned Frogs have been invited to nationals.

Follow The Horned Frogs
A full recap and final results will be available following all three days of competition on During both days, live results will be made available on the official TCU equestrian twitter page. Fans are encouraged to follow @TCUWEquestrian.

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 on

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 in 2009 earning Reserve Western National Championship accolades, falling to Texas A&M in the finals.

In 2010, 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.

Last season, the Horned Frogs took home sixth-place honors overall in Western to mark the program's highest finish since placing fifth overall in 2010. In all, the Frogs defeated No. 6 Kansas State and No. 7 Baylor en route to their sixth-place finish at nationals and were the only double-digit seed to advance to the final day of competition in Waco.

Horned Frogs Honored For Work In Classroom
The TCU equestrian program recently had 13 student-athletes earn 2013 NCEA Academic Awards for the 2012-13 season.

Earning NCEA Academic First Team honors were sophomore Alexi Child, senior Alexie Estrada, sophomore Katelyn Gray and senior Haley Jacobi, while senior Kolby Simonson collected second team accolades. Jacobi, who recently earned Big 12 Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year honors, was a repeat first team selection for the Horned Frogs.

In addition, Child, Estrada, Gray, Jacobi, Simonson, Ciera Fowler, Taylor Gillette, Molly Jones, Emily Maloof, Melinda Peters, Kelsi Schatz, Devin Spencer and Shelby Tsuji were named to the NCEA Academic Honor Roll.

An All-America Program
TCU recently had six student-athletes earn NCEA All-America accolades, including sophomore Demi Stiegler who claimed first-team honors in Equitation on the Flat.

With six student-athletes honored last week, the Horned Frogs have now had 10 student-athletes all-time earn All-America recognition by the NCEA. On the Hunt Seat side, the Frogs have now had four All-America honorees all-time, while Western has had seven NCEA All-America honors in program history. The six 2013 recipients mark the most All-America awards in a single-season in school history.

Earning NCEA Second-Team All-America recognition were quartet Caitlin Ader (Flat), Alexie Estrada (Horsemanship), Alexie Child (Reining) and Kolby Simonson (Reining). Rounding out the Frog award winners was sophomore Katelyn Gray who garnered NCEA Honorable Mention All-America honors in Reining.

Scouting South Dakota State Hunt Seat
South Dakota State will make its first-ever appearance on the Hunt Seat side at nationals Thursday against TCU. The Jackrabbits, who are seeded 12th overall, went 5-8 on the year, including 3-3 during the spring campaign in Hunt Seat.

Senior Lauren Kerr was recently honored as a NCEA Honorable Mention All-America honoree in Equitation on the Flat. Kerr, who hasn't competed in the spring season, went 6-1 on the year in the discipline with one MOP.

All-Time Series Against South Dakota State
The series between the Horned Frogs and Jackrabbits is currently tied at 1-1, but TCU won the last meeting between the two schools in 2012, 15-3.

Scouting South Carolina/New Mexico State Western
South Carolina comes into nationals with an 8-5 overall record on the Western side and fresh off a SEC Championship. Individually, Samantha Chiodo has led the way in Horsemanship, going 7-1 overall, while Johnna Letchworth is currently 6-1-1 on the season with two MOP's. Chiodo was recently named an Honorable Mention All-American by the NCEA.

New Mexico State brings a 3-10 overall record in Western into its first round showdown with USC. The Aggies went 1-4 during the spring campaign. Brynn Larson has carried the load for NMSU in Horsemanship, winning 66.7 percent of her meets this season. She has combined to go 10-6-1 between Horsemanship and Reining this season with two MOP's.

All-Time Series Against South Carolina/New Mexico State
South Carolina currently holds a 4-2 advantage all-time, but TCU has won two out of the last four in the series. Against New Mexico State, the Purple and White lead the all-time series, 3-2, which includes a 12-6 victory in the season-opener earlier this year.

Scouting TCU
Western enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed after posting a season record of 10-4 overall, including a 5-1 mark in league play. By being seeded fourth overall, the Frogs, who received a first round bye, posted their highest pre-tournament seeding since the 2010 campaign.

Individually, Alexie Estrada became the first two-time All-America recipient in program history last week after a stellar senior campaign in which she was named Big 12 Co-Horsemanship Rider of the Year. Estrada heads to nationals with an 8-4-2 mark overall in Horsemanship. She went 5-1-1 in league play this season and was named to the 2013 All Big-12 Team.

Alexi Child has also been dominate this season, garnering All-America recognition in Reining after going 10-4-0 on the year with one MOP. The All Big-12 honoree recorded three conference victories on the season.

Finally, Kolby Simonson will look to close out her senior season in style at nationals after picking up her first All-America honoree in Reining. The Colorado native, who earned All-Big 12 honors this season, was named Big 12 Reining Rider of the Month honors during November, while going 8-5-1 on the year in Reining. Overall, Simonson went 4-1-1 in conference play and earned two MOP accolades during the course of the season in the discipline.

On the Hunt Seat side, TCU claimed the No. 5 seed, which is the highest pre-tournament seeding in program history for Hunt Seat. The Purple and White are currently 9-5 overall and went 1-1 at the Big 12 Championship.

Sophomore Demi Stiegler has had one of the best seasons in school history in Hunt Seat. She recently became the first Horned Frog in program history to claim first-team All-America accolades on the Hunt Seat side. An All-Big 12 honoree, Stiegler was named Big 12 Equitation on the Flat Rider of the Year after compiling an 11-1-2 overall record on the season. The California native, who earned two MOP's, went 5-1 in conference play during the regular season.

Not to be outdone, Caitlin Ader also claimed her first All-America certificate in Equitation on the Flat after going 9-4-1 on the year with three MOP honors. She will look to improve upon that record in Waco.

Finally, sophomore Kaitlin Perry, who was named Big 12 Rider of the Month for March, has recorded 17 victories between Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over Fences, respectively, and should be a key contributor to the Frogs success this week in Waco.



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