Nov. 11, 2011
BISHOP, Ga. - Behind a dominant performance by the reining team, No. 3 Georgia handed the first-ranked Auburn Tigers their first loss of the season with a 10-8 win on Friday afternoon at the Georgia Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 4-1 on the year, while Auburn drops to 6-1 this season.
"We are really excited to come away with a win against a really good Auburn team," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "We were able to earn all four MVP, with Carly [Anthony] sweeping the honors on the hunt seat side. She continues to go out into the ring, show incredible leadership and presence and really have dominating rides. Our reining riders went 4-1 and were the dominant force out of all of the events today. As a team, we are continuing to get better and correct the small things and you can see that in scores from week to week."
Georgia swept MVP honors for the second time this year, as Carly Anthony continued her successful season, taking both hunt seat MVP titles. Megan Hawkins and McKenzie Lantz grabbed MVP honors in horsemanship and reining, respectively. Anthony scored an 86 in equitation on the flat and an 88 in equitation over fences, the highest scores in each event. Lantz took the honor with a score of 70.5. Hawkins' MVP score of 78 helped Georgia seal the win.
Georgia rode to a 3-2 win in equitation over fences, with Anthony, Michelle Morris and Olivia Dorey each scoring winning rides. Trailing 2-0, Anthony rode to an 88-85 win over Christina Lin. Morris tied the event during the next ride, outscoring Auburn's Grace Socha 83-80. With one ride remaining, Dorey earned an 82-80 win over Quincy Hayes to seal the win for Georgia.
Anthony used her MVP ride in equitation on the flat to score the first point of the event with an 86-84 win over Socha. The Tigers scored the next three points before Morris answered with an 84-79 win over Lindsay Portella. Morris' winning ride was not enough, as Georgia fell 3-2 on the flat.
The Bulldogs used a strong performance in reining to defeat the Tigers 4-1, with Becca Haaland, Kelly Truesdell, Samantha Belcher and Lantz each winning a point for Georgia in the event. Haaland got things started with a 72.5-71 win over Kristin Hansen. Truesdell followed suit with a 70-68.5 over Jillian Fuller. Belcher outscored Cheyenne Cracraft 70-69 that allowed Georgia to take a 3-0 lead. Lantz sealed the 4-1 win, riding to a 70.5-69.5 defeat of Indy Roper.
With Georgia holding a 9-6 lead, the Bulldogs needed a strong showing by the horsemanship team to take home the win. Auburn took the first two points, before Anna Sasser rode to a 73-73 draw with Stephanie Rucci, keeping the win in sight for the Bulldogs. Hawkins' 78-74 MVP win over Katie Buff brought the score to 2-1 with one ride remaining. Maria Salazar and Hansen rode to a 74-74 tie that allowed the Tigers to win the horsemanship event 2-1, but sealed Georgia's 10-8 win.
Georgia will travel to Martin, Tenn., next weekend to take on UT-Martin and Delaware State.