March 25, 2014
WACO, Texas – The No. 2 Georgia equestrian team had six riders earn seven NCEA All-American honors, it was announced today. The Bulldogs had one first team honoree, three second team honorees and three honorable mentions. Liza Finsness was named a First Team All-American in Equitation on the Flat and a Second Team All-American in Equitation Over Fences. Heather Schmidt and McKenzie Lantz earned Second Team All-American honors in Horsemanship and Reining, respectively, while Olivia Dorey (Equitation on the Flat), Abby O’Mara (Equitation Over Fences) and Rachel Kolb (Horsemanship) were each All-American Honorable Mentions.
Finsness was named a First Team All-American in Equitation on the Flat. Finsness finished the regular-season with a 9-3 record that included five road wins. She also led the Hunt Seat squad with six MOP honors. Finsness averaged a score of 80.3 in her 12 rides and defeated her opponents by an average of 4.4 points. The Wellington, Fla., native posted a season-high score of 89 against TCU. Her best score against a Southeastern Conference foe came against Auburn when she defeated her opponent with a score of 88. She went 5-1 in SEC meets and earned four MOP honors against conference opponents. Finsness also owns two of the top five scores posted by a Georgia rider in Equitation on the Flat, including the top score against an SEC opponent this year. In addition to her All-American accolades, Finsness was named the NCEA Rider of the Month in November, as well as the SEC Rider of the Month in both October and November.
Finsness also picked up Second Team All-American honors in Equitation Over Fences. Finsness ended the regular-season with an overall record of 8-2, picking up three MOP honors along the way. She averaged a score of 83 and defeated her opponents by an average of 6.4 points, the highest among any Georgia Fences rider and the highest among any Georgia Hunt Seat rider. Her season-best score of 90, which tied for the highest score of any SEC Fences rider, came against Texas A&M, her first meet competing in the event. She also posted a 5-0 record against SEC foes. Finsness also owns three of the top five scores posted by a Georgia rider in Equitation Over Fences and two of the top-10 scores recorded by an SEC Fences rider this season.
Schmidt picked up Second Team All-American accolades in Horsemanship after posting an 8-3 record during the regular season. She also led all Georgia Horsemanship riders with three MOP honors. Schmidt defeated her opponents by an average of 1.1 points, while averaging a score of 73. She posted a season-best score of 78.5 against Auburn, besting her previous season-high of 77, which came against South Carolina. Those two scores were the highest posted by a Georgia rider in the event. Her score of 78.5 also tied for the top score posted by an SEC Horsemanship rider this season. It was also the highest by an SEC rider against SEC competition. In addition to her All-American honor, Schmidt was named both the NCEA and SEC Rider of the Month in November.
Lantz earned Second Team All-American honors after winning 75 percent of her meets this season. Lantz finished the regular season with a 9-3 record and five MOP honors. She posted six wins on the road, four wins over SEC team and her five MOP honors was the most by any Georgia Western rider this year. The Freemont, Mich., native averaged a score of 71.4, the highest average score any Georgia Reiner. She rode to a season-best score of 75 against Texas A&M, for which she won MOP honors. Lantz own three of the top four scores by a Georgia Reiner this year, including the top score of 75. She also holds three of the top-10 Reining scores by any SEC rider this year, including the league’s third best score of the year, which was also the highest Reining score in league play. Prior to earning All-American honors this year, Lantz was named the SEC Rider of the Month in February.
Dorey earned All-American Honorable Mention honors in Equitation on the Flat after going 6-3-1 during the regular-season. Dorey averaged a score of 80.2 and defeated her opponents by an average of 4.2 points. Her season-best score of 89 came in Georgia’s last meet of the regular-season against New Mexico State. She also posted a score over 85 three times. Her score of 89 tied for the second-highest score among all Georgia Flat riders this season. Dorey earned SEC Rider of the Month in February.
O’Mara, Georgia’s representative at the WEF Collegiate Challenge earlier this year, was an Honorable Mention selection in Equitation Over Fences. She earned the accolade after going 9-3 with three MOP honors. Her three MOP honors tied for the most among the Bulldogs’ Fences riders this season. O’Mara averaged a score of 80.5 and defeated her opponents by an average of 2.8 points. The Rumson, N.J., native posted a season-best score of 90 against Texas A&M, while scoring above an 85 or higher on five occasions. Her score of 90 against Texas A&M ties for the highest Fences score among all SEC riders, as well as ties for the highest score among all Georgia Fences riders. O’Mara picked up NCEA Rider of the Month honors in January, after going 2-0 with two MOPs.
Rounding out the All-American awards for the Bulldogs is Kolb, who was an Honorable Mention in Horsemanship this season. Kolb finished the regular-season with a 7-3-2 record, averaging a score of 73.3 on the year. Her average score of 73.3 was the highest among members of Georgia’s Horsemanship team this year. She also defeated her opponents by an average of 1.3 points per ride and picked up two MOP awards. Kolb recorded a season-best score of 76.5 against South Carolina, which was the fifth-highest score of the season by a Horsemanship rider at Georgia this year. She also posted scores of 75 or higher in five meets.