Feb. 2, 2013
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. - The No. 3 University of Georgia equestrian team knocked off top-ranked South Carolina 11-8 on Saturday afternoon at OneWood Farm in Blythewood, S.C. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 5-3 on the season and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference action and extend their win streak to three meets. Highlighting the win were Grace Rogers (Equitation on the Flat), Leylan Gleeson (Equitation Over Fences) and Becca Haaland (Reining) each being named the MOP in their respective event.
"We are really working on pushing things in practice to mimic the focus and motivation of a competition," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "We have been pushing to ride error free to get ready for Nationals. Today was a fantastic test for and I am very proud of all of our riders, especially our three MOP's. It was great atmosphere and a great step in the process if getting to and winning at Nationals."
The Bulldogs and Gamecocks rode to a 2-2 tie in Reining to start the day. McKenzie Lantz scored the first point of the day for the Bulldogs, outscoring her opponent, Cody McMillion, 72-69.5, tying for the event's high score. With Reining tied 1-1, Haaland, gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead with her MOP-earning 68-67 win over Missy Mull. South Carolina tied the event at two with Amanda Pope's 71-68.5 win. Sami Belcher and Layla Choate each rode to a score of 70, resulting in a tie that took the teams into Equitation Over Fences tied at 2-2.
The Bulldogs earned a decisive 4-1 win in Equitation Over Fences, winning the final four points of the event. Trailing 1-0, Carly Anthony sparked the 4-0 run with her 76-70 win over Katherine Schmidt. Abby O'Mara followed with a 78-71 win over Samantha Smith. Olivia Dorey posted the event's highest score when she took home a 79-76 win over Amber Henter. Gleeson earned her MOP honor and sealed the 4-1 win with her 78-72 win over Sally Henry, giving the Bulldogs a 6-3 lead heading into the final two events.
A strong ride by Megan Hawkins set the tone for the Horsemanship squad, as she scored the first point of the event with a 74-73 win over Kelsey Urban. South Carolina narrowly edged Georgia for the next two points before Anna Sasser beat Alison Cerasani 75-71 to tie the event at two. The Gamecocks scored the final point to take Horsemanship 3-2 and pull to within two at 8-6 in the overall score.
The Bulldogs won Equitation on the Flat 3-2, which sealed the overall win for Georgia. Anthony grabbed the first point of the event with a 76-69 win over Kimberly McCormack. South Carolina tied the event at two before Caitlyn Francis grabbed a 76-70 win over Katherine Schmidt to give the Bulldogs a one-point lead. Roger's MOP-winning score of 84 sealed the Bulldogs 3-2 win in Equitation on the Flat.
Georgia will be back in action Saturday, Feb. 23 when it welcomes SEC rival Auburn to the first home meet of the spring schedule UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga. The meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Georgia will host Delaware State the following day, Sunday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m.