March 28, 2014
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C.- The University of Georgia Equestrian team will advance to the finals of the Southeastern Conference Championship after defeating the Auburn Tigers 12-8 at OneWood Farm in Blythewood, S.C., Friday afternoon. Georgia entered the weekend as the No. 2 seed and will face the No. 1 seed South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday, March 29 beginning at 1:40 p.m. ET.
“I’m very proud of the team today,” said head coach Meghan Boenig. “Auburn is an extremely talented team and today was nothing less than a hard fought competition. There were a lot of consistent rides and tonight we will go back and look at what we can improve on. Tomorrow we need to bring out even more as we face what I believe to be a very good team in South Carolina. We are looking forward to maintaining our focus and being successful rain or shine.”
In the first event of the day, the Reining squad owned a 3-2 decision over the Tigers. Auburn’s Hailey Munger and Katsy Leeman took the first two points of the event, but Georgia’s Charley Thiel’s 140.5-139 victory over Cheyenne Cracraft proved to give momentum to the Bulldogs. Lauren Tieche used a 133.5-129.5 decision to knot the score at 2-2. In the anchor position for the Bulldogs, Claudia Spreng took the final point with a 135.5-129.5 win over Stephanie Rucci.
Georgia dropped the first two points in Equitation on the Flat as Auburn riders Demi Stiegler and Elizabeth Benson both earned points. The Bulldogs answered as Olivia Dorey registered a score of 154 over Ashley Foster’s 151. Meg O’Mara put in a winning ride with a 154-128 decision, before Auburn’s Christina Lin picked up the final point of the event. After two events, Georgia and Auburn were tied with five points each going into Horsemanship.
The Horsemanship team used a dominating 4-1 performance over the Tigers to bring the overall score to 9-6. Paige Stawicki earned the first point with a 146-141 victory followed by an MOP earning 150.5-144 decision by Parr. Anna Sasser brought the event score 3-0 after defeating Lucy Igoe 146-135. Heather Schmidt took her point, outscoring Danielle Long 145-142 before Lacy Watson picked up the lone point for Auburn.
Auburn’s Elizabeth Benson and Quincy Hayes clinched the first two points of Equitation Over Fences. Meg O’Mara rode to a 164-129 win over Christina Lin. Finsness received MOP honors after defeating Jennifer Waxman 172-168, evening the score 2-2. Olivia Dorey closed the event, defeating Demi Stiegler 164-161. After four events, the Bulldogs handed the Tigers a 12-8 loss, securing their spot in the finals.
The consolation round will be held Saturday, March 29 at 9 a.m., followed by the championship round at approximately 1:40 p.m. Admission and parking is free all weekend.
For more information, please visit the SEC Championship Central at www.gamecocksonline.com. Live scoring will be provided through the SEC championship website as well as updates on twitter by following @UGAEquestrian.