Feb. 5, 2011
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. ---- Despite taking three MVP awards and winning the Hunt Seat side convincingly, the third-ranked Georgia Equestrian team dropped a close 10-9 decision to No. 6 South Carolina in a dual meet here at One Wood Farm on Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs took nine out of a possible 10 points in the Hunt Seat competition, blanking Carolina 5-0 in the Flat event and winning 4-1 in the Equitation over Fences. Double point winners for Georgia included freshman Abby O'Mara, who won the Flat MVP honors, Grace Rogers, Carly Anthony and Michelle Morris, who brought home the Fences MVP.
It was on the Western side where Georgia encountered trouble. The Bulldogs were unable to garner a single point in either event. Even Horsemanship MVP rider Dana Wilson dropped a 1-point decision in her head-to-head matchup.
"Our Western team had a really hard day," Georgia coach Meghan Boenig said. "We made some mistakes and we'll be working hard next week to correct them in preparation for next weekend. But give South Carolina some credit. They're a strong Western team and they showed why today."
As the Reining event concluded the competition, Georgia remained in an advantageous position. The Bulldogs needed to capture a single point in the final event to enact the tie-breaker, which they would have won because of their 107-point margin in the Hunt Seat team scoring.
Carolina's Audrey Jewell won the decisive Reining point, edging Bulldog freshman Jacklyn Hoyt 75-73.5, giving the Gamecocks the team victory.
"There were closer rides today than the scores reflected," said Georgia head coach Meghan Boenig. "We had a lot of people perform well, not to take away from the performance of the South Carolina riders. We just left little openings here and there on the Western side, and they cost us."
The Bulldogs resume their season next Saturday at home against Auburn, a meet that begins at 2:00 p.m.