June 21, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. --- Caitlyn Francis of Oak Bluffs, Mass., became the most recent Hunt Seat rider to join the Georgia Equestrian team this spring when she signed a national letter-of-intent to attend UGA and ride next season for the Bulldogs, head coach Meghan Boenig announced Thursday.
Francis is a recent graduate of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. She has trained through the riding program at Pond View Farm in West Tisbury, Mass. for the past decade.
“Caitlyn has a great ability to ride a variety of horses," said Boenig. “She has spent most of her time riding different horses and this has provided her with the opportunity to be comfortable getting on an unfamiliar horse, which is what this format is all about. We are excited to have someone of her ability joining our program.”
Highlights from Francis’ most recent season include placing second in the 2009 open equitation at the Massachusetts Horesemen’s Council finals and third in the open equitation at the Massachusetts Hunter Jumper finals. She has also qualified and competed at the New England Equitation Finals over the past three years on unfamiliar horses. Last year, she placed sixth in open equitation.
Francis becomes the ninth high school senior to sign with the Georgia program during the spring signing period, which ended May 19. She joins Emily Van der Walde, an English rider from Ann Arbor, Mich.; Athens native Katie Crump, a Hunt Seat rider; Jaclyn Beckley, a Western rider from Cumming; Kelsey Thatcher, a decorated Hunt Seat prospect from South Jordan, Utah; Jackie Hoyt, a Western rider from Manlius, N.Y.; Olivia Dorey, a Hunt Seat rider from Sudbury, Mass.; McKenzie Lantz, a reiner from Fremont, Mich., and Julia Hemingway, a Hunt Seat rider from Alpharetta, all of whom signed earlier this month. Two other high school seniors, Isabel Jolicoeur of Wellington, Fla., and Abby O'Mara of Rumson, N.J., signed with the Bulldogs last November.