Oct. 23, 2010
October 23, 2010
BISHOP, Ga. ----- The top-ranked Georgia Equestrian team on Saturday showed why the sport's coaches put it atop the early-season rankings.
Taking all four events, as well as all four individual MVP honors, the Bulldogs dominated No. 4 South Carolina 15-4 at the UGA Equestrian Complex. The win improved the Bulldogs' record this season to 3-0 while the Gamecocks fell to 2-2.
"It was a terrific day for our team," Georgia coach Meghan Boenig said. "I was really pleased with our preparation for this meet. We had worked hard all week and I think it showed."
The Bulldogs took command of the meet early by sweeping all five points in the Fences event. Michelle Morris and Carly Anthony set a torrid pace for the day by turning in scores of 92 and 90, respectively. Morris was named the Fences MVP. Other winners in the event included senior Kacy Jenkins, as well as freshmen Isabel Jolicoeur and Abby O'Mara. Jenkins' 2-point margin of victory, relatively large by Equestrian standards, was the slimmest of all five Georgia victories.
"It is always nice to pick up those five points really quickly," said Georgia Hunt Seat assistant coach Logan Fiorentino. "USC is a great team. We established ourselves and had a huge momentum for the rest of the day. Every rider executed their plan and set the tone for the rest of the day."
Anthony returned in the Equitation on the Flat to post the outstanding ride of the day. Her winning ride, a 17-point margin with a nearly unheard-of score of 97, spearheaded three Bulldog points in the event. Morris also brought home a Flat point, as did sophomore Grace Rogers.
"Carly had an impressive ride and took that horse to a new level," Boenig said. "She was in no rush and just worked it out. I'm very proud - she is very deserving. Davey is the horse that can do 90s and she made him do it."
Georgia's 4-1 margin in Horsemanship -- run simultaneously to the Flat event -- essentially secured the outcome. By the time those two events were completed, the Bulldogs were comfortably in front by a 12-3 tally. Point winners in the first Western event included MVP Dana Wilson, Maria Salazar, Michelle Fulcher and freshman Anna Sasser.
Another freshman, McKenzie Lantz, continued an outstanding start to her rookie season by taking MVP honors in Reining, the final event of the day. Her score of 75.5 set a victorious tone for the Bulldog reiners, who claimed three points, all by first-year riders. Morgan Collins and Jacklyn Hoyt also won close decisions for Georgia.
"We're really excited to have McKenzie on our team," said UGA Western assistant coach Mary Meneely. "She is fresh, strong, and has a great wealth of knowledge and background. We expect many great successes from her."
The Bulldogs will try to keep their momentum in gear when they resume their season Nov. 5 in a dual meet at Baylor.