April 15, 2012
WACO, Texas – The University of Georgia equestrian team wrapped up its season by winning its second National Collegiate Equestrian Association Reserve Championship in as many years. Both the hunt seat and western squads finished third, with the hunt seat team defeating Auburn 6-2 and the western squad beating South Carolina 6-3.
In addition to team honors, Georgia's Paige Stawicki was named the Most Outstanding Rider in horsemanship.
The Bulldogs swept the Tigers in equitation on the flat, with Kylee Arbuckle, Carly Anthony, Michelle Morris and Grace Rogers each scoring winning rides. Arbuckle led things off with a 157-136 defeat of Lindsay Portella. Anthony followed with a score of 153 that bested Christina Lin's 149. Riding in her final competition, Morris grabbed a 151-143 win over Maggie McAlary that put Georgia up 3-0. Rogers wrapped up equitation on the flat with a 143-139 win over Grace Socha.
Arbuckle won Georgia's point in equitation over fences with a 158-157 win over Socha. The Tigers took the next two points before Anthony rode to a 176-176 tie with Jennifer Waxman, sealing the 6-2 win for Georgia.
In the western ring, Becca Haaland and Samantha Belcher started things off, taking wins over their opponents in reining and giving Georgia an early 2-0 lead. Haaland scored a 137.5, edging Layla Choate's score of 135.5. Belcher followed with a 136.5-134 defeat of Cody McMillion. The Gamecocks grabbed the next two points to tie the score at two, heading into horsemanship.
Stawicki's outstanding weekend of horsemanship continued, as she handed Johnna Letchworth a 149-148 loss and ignited a 3-0 run for the Bulldogs. Maria Salazar followed Stawicki's lead to take a 146-129.5 win over Maggie Fortune. Katelyn Van Allen finished her collegiate career as a winner, defeating Samantha Chiodo 146-125.5.
Future Southeastern Conference opponent Texas A&M took home the overall title, as well as the western crown. Baylor was crowned the hunt seat champion, taking home its first-ever national championship in the sport of equestrian.