YOU ARE HERE: Burbank HomeCollections

Murray takes reins for national champion

Burbank High graduate shines on center stage at Equestrian National Championships for Texas A&M, clinching title.

May 02, 2011|By Jeff Tully,
(Courtesy of Graig…)

Becca Murray got her first taste of collegiate national championship competition as a freshman last season at Texas A&M University. However, as some her teammates were busy winning a title at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships, Murray wasn't chosen as one of the Aggies' riders and didn't get the opportunity to compete.

"Even though I didn't compete last year, it was kind of nice to be able to just watch everybody and see what happens at the competition," said Murray, a 2009 Burbank High graduate. "I helped out a lot and I was able to warm up horses. It was nice to be there supporting our team and seeing what it was all about."

This season, Texas A&M's western team again made its way to the championship event — the 10th Varsity Equestrian National Championships April 14-16 at Waco's Extraco Events Center in Texas. But instead of watching from the sideline, Murray, a sophomore, got her chance to shine as a participant at the event.


"I definitely felt more prepared this year after watching last year," Murray said.

Murray didn't disappoint. As a matter of fact, she came through with the decisive win in the reining competition that put the No. 1-ranked Aggies over the top in a 5-3 victory against Kansas State.

It was Texas A&M's third straight national championship and ninth in the history of the program since the national event began in 1999.

Murray said being able to compete, and to win her event, was thrilling.

"It feels pretty amazing," she said. "I really, truly can't believe that we were able to win it. For the school to win its ninth title is incredible."

A 145-point ride and victory by Aggies sophomore reiner Courtney Dawe, and a narrow Kansas State win to keep the Wildcats alive, set the stage for Murray's winning ride. Murray earned the decisive fifth and clinching point that successfully defended A&M's title by defeating Alecia Zimbelman, 140-0. Zimbelman ended up being disqualified for not executing a required pattern.

Murray was watching Zimbelman's ride, and knew her competition had made the mistake before she took her mount.

"Some of the pressure was off of me because I knew I didn't have a huge score to beat," Murray said. "I just tried not to over think it too much, and I just wanted to be calm and not get too nervous."

Aggies Coach Tana McKay said Murray definitely earned her spot among the riders at the national championship.

Burbank Leader Articles Burbank Leader Articles