FRESNO, Calif. -On a beautiful, sunny day in March the Bulldogs shined as they swept their competition, winning both matches in Friday's double-header. They earned a total of 22 points, eight Most Outstanding Player awards and two team victories against the T-No. 10 New Mexico State (9-6) and T-No. 10 South Dakota State (13-3).
"Today was an excellent day for our team," said head coach Collins Daye. "It was one of the first times we rode this season and didn't eliminate ourselves by making silly mistakes. Rather they eliminated their silly mistakes and put down some great rides."
Fresno State honored equestrian's seven seniors Friday afternoon in between the two matches. The seniors: Lisa Beach, Christa Beezley, Lauren Carr, Sydney Coletti, Kimberly HewsonBudnik, Lanie Madrazo and Marisa Mohn, were escorted by family and friends to the center of the arena where they were greeted with flowers and gifts. In what can be an emotional day, the seniors excelled in the arena knowing it was their last home match as a Bulldog.
Leading the way was senior Kimberly HewsonBudnik who won all four of her match-ups. In Equitation over Fences she earned MOP honors against both teams scoring an 84 against NMSU and an 86 against SDSU.
"It was so awesome to win all four of my points today," said HewsonBudnik. "Knowing that this was my last home match made riding today that much better.
"My last ride of the day I went in knowing that we had already won and I asked coach Daye if I could challenge myself and do all the inside turns," said HewsonBudnik. "Well she let me and that was the most fun ride I ever had in competition. I literally had a smile on my face over the last jump and it was the perfect way to finish my senior season at home."
Two more Bulldogs each earned two MOP honors in the Western events. In the first match against NMSU, Lauren Crivelli won her point and MOP with a score of 73 in Horsemanship. In Reining Kirsten McKillop scored a 74.5 earning a point and MOP. In the afternoon match against SDSU, Crivelli won her point with a 73.5 and earned MOP in Reining and McKillop scored a 73.5 and won her second MOP, this time in Horsemanship. McKillop and Crivelli each won three points today.
Also picking up multiple wins was Dayle Fischer with a point on the Flat (75) and an MOP, as well as a point over Fences (79) both against SDSU. Macy Wilson won both her match-ups today on the Flat scoring a 72 against NMSU with an MOP honor and a 69 against SDSU. Earning points against SDSU was senior Lanie Madrazo with a 70 in Equitation on the Flat and Over Fences, Belle Calkin scored an 81.
In the English saddle, seniors Lisa Beach (59), Marisa Mohn (60) and Lauren Carr (62) each rode strong demonstration rides in Equitation on the Flat.
In the Western events, senior Sydney Coletti won both her match-ups in Reining with a 73.5 against NMSU and a 68 against SDSU. Ciara Kozlowski also won both her points with a 72 against NMSU and a 71 versus SDSU. Shauna Woodward won her two points as well in Horsemanship with a 71 (NMSU) and a 72.5 (SDSU). Senior Christa Beezley tied her point in Horsemanship with a 72 versus NMSU.
"We've had some tough matches this season, so I am really proud of the girls for getting it done today and winning both matches," said Daye. "We rode how we are supposed to ride and we did excellent."
In what was an exciting day for the Bulldogs, the Fresno State equestrian team will now prepare for their final two dual-meets of the season. They will compete in Martin, Tenn. against the University of Tennessee Martin and New Mexico State on March 22 and March 23.