Oct. 8, 2011
BRYAN, Texas - In a meeting that featured two of the premier varsity equestrian teams in the country, the Georgia Bulldogs narrowly fell to future Southeastern Conference foe Texas A&M, 13-10. Georgia's Abby O'Mara and Carly Anthony posted MVP rides in equitation over fences and on the flat, respectively. O'Mara's MVP honor came after riding to an 84-83 decision over A&M's Lia Chafee, while Anthony earned the honor after posting a 89-85 win over Elizabeth Solen.
Georgia and Texas A&M tied in both equitation over fences and reining, but A&M's strong showing in equitation on the flat earned it a 4-2 win that helped the Aggies defeat the Bulldogs. Texas A&M also won the horsemanship competition, 3-2.
"I think we had a really strong showing against a very competitive team," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "We had two MVP rides and had strong rides in equitation over fences and reining that helped us to a tie against Texas A&M. We had a really good time competing against a future SEC opponent and look forward to the future. We need to correct a few little things. When we do, we will become more dominant in our next competitions."
Georgia won the first point of the day as Anthony defeated Kelsi Shevlin 83-78 in equitation over fences. The Bulldogs and Aggies finished the discipline tied 3-3. Also earning a point for Georgia was Olivia Dorey, who handed Emily Williams an 80-78 loss.
"We made a few small errors on the English side and you can't do that against a team like A&M who doesn't make a whole lot of errors," continued Boenig. "We need to clean up those errors, but I think we have a lot of talent and the future is really bright for the English riders."
In horsemanship, Maria Salazar, who earned Georgia's lone point against the Aggies in the semifinal round of the VENC national championship last year, rode to a 72-72 draw with Kelsey Adams. Georgia's Megan Hawkins gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead in horsemanship after a 69.5-68 victory over Amanda Brightwell. A&M grabbed the next two points before Anna Sasser beat Molli Jacobs 69.5-64.5. A&M edged Georgia 3-2 in the event, as Sara Parr narrowly fell to Cassie Mantor 73.5-72.
Texas A&M held a slight 6-5 edge over the Bulldogs heading into equitation on the flat. Anthony shined for the second time, beating Solen 89-84 in equitation on the flat. Grace Rogers earned Georgia's other point in equitation on the flat as she beat Kristin Bell 81-78.
In reining, Samantha Belcher, Lauren Tieche and Kelly Truesdell scored winning rides for the Bulldogs, as they tied Texas A&M 3-3 in the event. Belcher picked up a 69-68 win over Emma Myers, while Tieche earned a 64-0 win over Courney Dawe. Truesdell earned the final point of the day after edging Becca Murray 69-68.5.
Georgia opens its home schedule on October 22 at 9:30 a.m., when it welcomes Kansas State and TCU to Bishop, Ga.