Georgia Places Third at SEC Championship
Megan Hawkins

Megan Hawkins
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March 30, 2013

AUBURN, Ala. --- The No. 1 University of Georgia equestrian team defeated the eighth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies 15-5 to place third in the SEC Championship meet on Saturday, March 30 at the Auburn University Horse Center. The Bulldogs swept all four events to win and improve to 9-5 for the season. The Hunt Seat rode to an 8-2 victory and the Western Squad won 7-3.

Olivia Dorey took home Most Outstanding Player honors in Equitation Over Fences and Megan Hawkins received MOP honors for Horsemanship.

"It was a great ride compared from yesterday to today," said head coach Meghan Boenig. "There are a lot of things to be proud of and a lot of good building moments. What I think we learned from yesterday and will continue to learn is that there are a lot of things we can continue to work on, polish and finesse. I'm extremely proud of our entire team, from our schooling riders to our barn managers who just did a fantastic job today. I saw a lot of improvement in the Hunt Seat from yesterday to today. Congratulations to the Western Squad for being able to do so well yesterday and today."

"Great recognition for MOP honors for Hawkins and Dorey," continued Boenig. "Great job from these ladies; they have leadership that we will be looking for in our national championship rounds coming up. This team is producing a lot of things and we just need to make sure we're doing it all on the same day."

Georgia jumped to a 5-0 lead after Equitation Over Fences shut out Texas A&M. Abby O'Mara got things started with her 153-152 victory over Shelby Lawson. Dorey and Sara Milliren followed, winning 165-151 and 162-161, respectively. Kylee Arbuckle grabbed the next point, 154-153, and Carly Anthony wrapped things up with a 156-154 win over Hannah Williams.

The Bulldogs stretched their advantage to 9-1 after Horsemanship rode to a 4-1 victory in the western pen. Maria Salazar took her point 143.5-139.5 and was followed by Paige Stawicki, who won 147-145.5. Sarah Parr and Hawkins rounded out the scoring for the Horsemanship squad, with victories of 146.5-143 and 148.5-143, respectively.

The Hunt Seat used a 3-2 win in Equitation on the Flat to seal the win for the Bulldogs and increase their lead to 12-3. Caitlyn Francis took the first point of the event with a 155-145 win over Hannah Williams. Megan Southam, 153-128, and Kylee Arbuckle, 149-129, wrapped up competition for the Hunt Seat.

The Reining squad used a 3-2 victory for a Georgia sweep of the events. McKenzie Lantz started things off for the Bulldogs with her victory over Ashley Skold, 141-137.5. After a re-ride, Jackie Hoyt defeated Becca Murray 141-134.5, and Samantha Belcher followed with a 139.5-135 win over Lindsey Bernbaum.

The 7-3 win on the Western side allowed the Bulldogs to go undefeated during the weekend in Western events, as the squad handed eventual champion South Carolina a 5-2 loss on the Western side on Friday, March 29.

"We are not stopping here, " said associate head coach Mary Meneely. "Our goal is to win each and every day now through the National Championship finals. This team is hungry, excited and motivated to do their jobs impeccably both in and out of the arena."

Next up, the Bulldogs will travel to Waco, Texas for the NCEA National Championships, April 17-20 at the Extraco Events Center.

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