Nov. 8, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 1 Georgia equestrian team escaped with a 10-9 (1542-1456) win over No. 9 Texas A&M on Friday afternoon, securing the victory in the final performance of the meet. Georgia continues its undefeated record at 3-0 on the season and 2-0 in Southeastern Conference competition, while Texas A&M falls to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the SEC.
Georgia riders highlighted the meet with three MOP performances. Liza Finsness received MOP honors for her rides in both Equitation over Fences and Equitation on the Flat with scores of 90 and 84, respectively. Lauren Tieche also earned the honor Reining as she clinched the victory for Georgia. Texas A&M's Laura Brainard received MOP honors in Horsemanship.
"It was a very close competition and A&M came prepared. We had some errors but overall we had some fantastic rides," said Head Coach Meghan Boenig, "I'm excited to build on today and continue to get stronger as we have a challenging couple of weeks ahead of us."
Kylee Arbuckle scored the opening point for the Bulldogs, picking up an 88-86 win over Marlena Parker. Texas A&M's Kimmy Saul evened the score with an 85-84 win over Megan Southam. Abby O'Mara answered with an impressive 90-78 win over Leah Chenelle, giving Georgia a 2-1 edge in the event. The Aggies' Hannah Williams knotted the overall score with her 88-85 win over Olivia Dorey. With the score tied at two, Finsness came away with the second 90 of the competition, defeating Haley Buchmiller 90-70 to seal the 3-2 win in Equitation Over Fences.
Georgia secured the first two points in Horsemanship on its way to a 3-1 win in the event. Rachel Kolb put up a score of 73.5 over Molli Jacob's 71.5 for the Aggies. Paige Stawicki notched a 72-69.5 win over Logan Pulhar. Texas A&M's Caroline Ammons took the third point by edging out Georgia's Anna Sasser 69.5-69. Heather Schmidt posted a 73.5-72.5 victory over Alyssa Soechting with the final point for the Bulldogs on the event. Georgia's Sara Parr and Texas A&M's Brainard tied in the fifth spot with a pair of 73's.
In Equitation on the Flat, Georgia picked up the first two points but fell to the Aggies 3-2 in the event. Dorey tallied an 80-79 win over Texas A&M's Paige Russell. Finsness also had a narrow victory, defeating Parker 84-83. The Aggies responded, going 3-0 in the final three spots. Williams posted an 81-69 win over Georgia's Southam. Buchmiller followed by putting up an 86-77 win over Leylan Gleeson. Megan Phillips secured the win in Equitation on the Flat for Texas A&M with an 86-83 victory over Arbuckle. After three events, Georgia held an 8-6 advantage over the Aggies.
Texas A&M came from behind to take the lead over Georgia, taking the first three points in Reining. Ashley Skold edged past Georgia's Lindsey Cheek to win the first point 71-70.5. Lauren Sumrall rode to a 72.5-70.5 win over Charley Thiel, tying the overall score at 8-8. Ashley Doston's 71.5 over McKenzie Lantz's 71 in the third spot gave the Aggies the lead for the first time in the competition. Georgia's Lauren Garmon tied the score again with a 67-61 win over Lindsey Bernbaum. In the final performance of the night, Texas A&M's Hannah Jechow disqualified during her ride, and Tieche's MOP performance of 72 secured the win for the Bulldogs.
Georgia will be back in action next Friday, Nov. 15 at 3 p.m., when they travel to Auburn, Ala., to take on the Auburn Tigers.