Journal on the Road

Back in Black

April 16, 2010

Tara Christiansen spends a day rooting for her team.

By Tara Christiansen

Texas A&M University rider Randi Standley slides to a stop on Whizards Old Spice, owned by the University of Georgia. "Whiz" has been to more Varsity Equestrian National Championships than any of the riders.

Texas A&M was back in black Thursday. Inspired by a combination of AC/DC’s hit song, “Back in Black,” and our new black western show shirts, our theme for the day was “Back in Black Nationals 2010.”

After an early morning arrival, we handily finished our chores in half an hour flat. The show started off with the teams ranked Nos. 5 through 12 fighting it out in the first round. The winners of the first four brackets then moved on to the second round, where they faced off against the No. 1 through 4 schools.

While my teammates were in the ring, I was riding on the edge of my seat for all it was worth. We fought two hard battles: Hunter seat pulled out an impressive 6-2 win over Texas Christian University, and western rode to 5-3 victory over Baylor University.

After a while, I was really regretting the fact that I was wearing my cowboy boots and not my tennis shoes. I tried my hardest to run back and forth from the horsemanship ring to the equitation over fences ring to catch our Aggies in the show pen. When I was finally settled in one spot, I was a text-messaging fiend as I was trying to find out scores and send updates to my teammates.

But when the reining started, I was glued to the reining arena to watch my girls bust out a 3-1 win. Over in the English arena, our equitation on the flat riders also pulled out a 3-1 win.

It was an emotional day, to say the least.

On Friday, both squads face off against both the English and western teams from the University of Georgia. Maybe this time I’ll think to wear my tennis shoes.