Equestrian Defeats Auburn for Southern Equestrian Title



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AUBURN, Ala. --- The University of Georgia equestrian team captured its third consecutive Southern Equestrian title with a 12-6 victory over Auburn Saturday afternoon. Three Bulldogs claimed all four MVP awards with Sarah Locker in reining, Lauren Love in horsemanship and Haylie Jayne in both equitation on the flat and equitation over fences.

“It was certainly wonderful to walk away with the Southeastern Equestrian Championship, especially for the third year in a row,” said head coach Meghan Boenig. There was great team effort and lots of focus. I thought it was a phenomenal job by the entire team. I’d like to give special kudos to all MVPs especially the western riders who dominated in both events. Haylie Jayne also did fabulous, and it was great for her to be able to secure the MVP in both events.”

Georgia came out blazing from the start with a commanding 4-1 lead following the reining competition. Kate Stewart posted the event’s highest score of the afternoon with a 72.5. She remains undefeated on the season with a perfect 9-0 record. Megan Darby and Locker each scored 70.5, while Erica Lang won with a 66.

The Bulldogs continued to out-point the Tigers taking equitation on the flat 2-1. Jayne tallied an 84 in the event for the highest flat score of the afternoon. Also taking home a win for Georgia was Michelle Blair with a 78.

The western squad sealed the Bulldogs’ fourth Southern Equestrian Championship at the conclusion of horsemanship with their second 4-1 decision of the afternoon. Kelly Mundrick and Love both had the event’s highest score with a 73. Alicia Shrum and Catherine Pennington also had wins in horsemanship with a 72.5 and 70.5, respectively.

Wrapping up championship competition was equitation over fences where Auburn edged out Georgia 3-2. Jayne, again, had the event’s highest score with an 85. Kelley Cowperthwait out-pointed the Tigers’ Katie Breedlove by nine to give the Bulldogs their second win over fences.

“I think this competition was excellent preparation for Nationals,” added Boenig. “We had riders going against top scores who went in with a lot of focus and did well. I am very proud of them.”

Georgia will now prepare to take on national competition at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships in Waco, Texas. Action begins on Wednesday, April 18 and continues through Friday, April 20.
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