Equestrian Bulldogs Head to Nationals as No. 8 Seed

April 15, 2014

By Jillian Bertolucci

FRESNO, Calif. --The Fresno State equestrian team heads to Waco, Texas on April 17-19 for the National Collegiate Equestrian Association National Championship as the No. 8 seed.

Based on season rankings, the Bulldogs enter the National Championship as the No. 8 seed. The team will compete against No. 9 Texas Christian University on the first day of competition.

"I'm expecting consistent and smart rides, and I know the girls will try their hardest to put their best rides out there," assistant coach Kimberly HewsonBudnik said. "We know they can do this, and as long as they believe in themselves, it can happen."

Fresno State is coming off of a solid competition at the Independent Championship. The team finished third in the tournament, behind No. 11 UT-Martin and South Dakota State University.

After a tough beginning to the season with three road losses against No. 1 South Carolina, No. 3 Georgia and No. 4 Auburn, the Bulldogs finished the regular season strong, upsetting the then-No. 2 Baylor Bears and eventually securing the No. 8 spot in the NCEA rankings. Interim head coach Eric Hubbard said the team will use this momentum entering Nationals this weekend.

"We are peaking at the correct time for Nationals," Hubbard said. "Our riders are strong and ready to compete."

The winner of the first day's competition between the `Dogs and Texas Christian University will advance to day two and face No. 1 South Carolina University. The tournament is single-elimination style.

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