March 29, 2014
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. - The Georgia equestrian team fell to South Carolina in the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championship Finals on Saturday morning in Blythewood, S.C. While the teams tied in overall points 10-10, the Gamecocks outscored the Bulldogs in raw score 4040.25-4036.75. Georgia picked up two MOP honors on the day with Meg O'Mara receiving the award in Equitation Over Fences and McKenzie Lantz earning the honors in Reining. Meg O'Mara was also named to the SEC All-Championship Team in Equitation on the Flat.
"What a day," said head coach Meghan Boenig. "This was a growing experience for this team. What a challenge to have believed we had won and then learn that there was a scoring issue. This is a tough situation for our athletes but I do believe something good will come of it. We will only become stronger from today. I'm very impressed with South Carolina for not only hosting, but also having so much success. They are a team that we will see again and we will be prepared and ready. I'm proud of the character and humbleness this team displayed today. Though things may be painful right now, I know this team will bounce back. Just you watch."
The Gamecocks captured the first event of the day, winning 3-2 in Equitation Over Fences. Katherine Schmidt earned the first point, but Abby O'Mara answered with a 165-164 decision over Amber Henter. Samantha Smith and Alexa Anthony picked up the next two points for South Carolina. Meg O'Mara took the final point of the event for Georgia with an MOP-earning event high 179, outscoring Samantha Kraus's score of 126.
Georgia rode to a 3-2 victory in Horsemanship to tie up the overall score 5-5. Johhna Letchworth brought in the first point for the Gamecocks, but Sara Parr countered with a 149.5 mark over Abigail Pait's 144. Rachel Kolb maintained the momentum and handed Alison Ceresani a 148-147 loss. Paige Stawicki tied for the event high with a 150.5, outscoring Katie Kopf's 145.5. Samantha Chiodo was able to grab the final point of the event for the Gamecocks, leaving the overall score tied at the half.
The Bulldogs dropped a 3-2 decision in Equitation on the Flat. Meg O'Mara rode to a 151-148 victory over Samantha Smith, followed by a 151-147 decision by Liza Finsness. South Carolina riders Alexa Anthony, Katherine Schmidt and Adele Norton grabbed the final three points for the Gamecocks.
Georgia entered the final event of the day trailing South Carolina 8-7. Letchworth picked up the first point, followed by another point by Sarah Bouchard. Lauren Tieche secured a 139.5-128 victory over Jordan Brown. Lantz posted a 132-118.5 and was awarded with MOP honors to bring the Bulldogs within one. With the final point up for grabs, Lauren Garmon exited the arena with a 136.5, defeating Layla Choate's 136. With the overall score knotted 10-10, The Bulldogs fell to the Gamecocks in raw score 4040.25-4036.75
The Georgia equestrian team will return to action when it travels to Waco, Texas for the 2014 NCEA National Championship April 17-19.