Feb. 8, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 6 Georgia equestrian team dropped a narrow 10-9 decision to the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs now sit at 7-3 on the season with a 3-2 mark in SEC competition, while the Gamecocks move to 8-2, 2-2 SEC. With this loss, Georgia splits the 2013-2014 season with South Carolina, as Georgia posted the higher score in the last meeting between the teams.
"It was a really close meet, although it was not the outcome we desired," Head Coach Meghan Boenig said. "There are little things we can improve on. However, there were also a million great things that happened today. We give South Carolina credit. They are a very strong team. We are looking forward to the opportunity we have at SEC's to meet them again. We will be coming back ready."
Georgia's Kylee Arbuckle received MOP honors for her ride in Equitation On the Flat. South Carolina recorded MOP riders in the three other events. Alexa Anthony, Johnna Letchworth and Cody McMillion earned MOP honors in Equitation Over Fences, Horsemanship and Reigning, respectively.
South Carolina jumped to an early 3-2 lead in Equitation Over Fences. Abby O'Mara secured the first point for Georgia with an 80-78 winning ride. South Carolina's Anthony, Katherine Schmidt and Samantha Smith narrowly edged out Georgia in the following three points. Liza Finsness sealed the final point for the Bulldogs in the fifth spot, riding to an 85-77 victory.
In Horsemanship, the Gamecocks recording another 3-2 win over the Bulldogs. Katie Kopf picked up the first point for South Carolina, but Rachel Kolb took the second with a 76.5-72.5 ride for Georgia. Letchworth's MOP-earning ride, followed by a 75-74 win by Kelsey Urban, clinched the event for the Gamecocks in the third and fourth spots. Georgia secured the final point with a 74-72.5 win by Sara Parr.
With the Gamecocks holding a slight lead at the break, Georgia rallied to seal the first two points in Equitation On The Flat and knot the score at 6-6. Caitlyn Francis rode to a 78-75 winning score, and Arbuckle followed with her 83-81 MOP-earning ride. South Carolina answered as Schmidt and Smith secured the following two points and regained the lead. Olivia Dorey and Anthony tied in the fifth spot at 84-84. After three events, South Carolina held an 8-6 advantage over Georgia.
Georgia trumped South Carolina 3-2 in Reigning, but it was not enough to give the Bulldogs the win. Sarah Rose Bouchard and McMillion clinched the win for the Gamecocks in the first two spots. Georgia battled back to narrow the score and won the final three points. McKenzie Lantz won 74.5-72.5, Claudia Spreng recorded a 73.5-69.5 victory and Lauren Tieche closed the competition with a 70.5-69.5 win in the fifth spot.
Georgia will return to action on Feb. 22 to face the Auburn Tigers at home. The meet will begin at 2 p.m. and admission is free.