BOSTON, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Varsity Equestrian Selection Committee has awarded Inaugural All-American honors to the top four equestrian athletes in each of the respective events offered by Varsity Equestrian (Equitation on the Flat, Equitation over Fences, Horsemanship, and Reining). Auburn University's Maggie McAlary, a junior from Amherst, NH, has earned All-American accolades in both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation over Fences events.
Commenting on the inaugural class, Lindsay Neubarth, Chairperson of the Varsity Equestrian Steering Committee explained, "This is a very exciting time for Varsity Equestrian. This is the first year that we are able to award and acknowledge the top equestrian student-athletes in the country. This inaugural class really has something to be proud of. It is a true honor to be selected and these young ladies have represented their schools well."
During the 2010-2011 season, McAlary earned eight MVP awards. Speaking to her versatility, four of her MVP awards were for excellence in Equitation on the Flat and four of her MVP awards were for excellence in Equitation over Fences. In addition, for the second consecutive year, Maggie was named MVP in Equitation on the Flat and MVP in Equitation over Fences at the SEC Championships. Maggie ended the season winning over 90% of her Equitation on the Flat events and over 87% of her Equitation over Fences events. Maggie achieved all this while being a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Auburn Equestrian's Head Coach Greg Williams said, "This is the first time we have awarded All-American accolades in our sport and we are not surprised to find Maggie McAlary on this elite and foundational list. Maggie has brought so many firsts to our program. As a freshman, she became the first Auburn Equestrian athlete to be named the Most Valuable Hunt Seat Rider at Varsity Equestrian Championships. As a sophomore, Maggie was selected to compete in and won the Inaugural Collegiate Equitation Challenge. This year, Maggie once again brings new achievements to the Auburn Equestrian Program with not just one, but two All-American awards." Williams added, "Maggie has one of the strongest résumés for individual accolades a young rider her age can have. Yet in college, she has completely bought into caring more about the team's successes rather than her own. When somebody as talented as Maggie does that, the contribution to the team becomes immeasurable."
The 2011 All-American awards will be presented at the opening ceremony at this year's Varsity Equestrian National Championships, hosted by Baylor University at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. Opening ceremonies will be held on Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 at 6:00pm CT at the Extraco Events Center.
Coming off its second straight SEC Championship victory, the Auburn Equestrian team enters the Varsity Equestrian National Championships with high seeds in western and hunt seat competition. Both the western and hunt seat squads have earned byes in the first rounds of competition, which begins April 14th, 2011.
With a 15-1 record, Auburn's hunt seat riders secured the top spot in the nation. As the No. 1 seed, they will face the winner of No. 8 Kansas State and No. 9 TCU in the second round.
At 11-4, the western riders earned the No. 3 seed, setting them to play the winner of No. 6 TCU and No. 11 Fresno State in the second round of competition.
Auburn will begin competing April 14th, 2011 once the first rounds of competition have been completed. The championship rounds for both hunt seat and western will take place April 16th, 2011.
SOURCE Maggie McAlary