The sixth season for Equestrian at the
These are indeed heady times for the
The 2007 season had many of the traits that have solidified
“I think we learned a lot from last year,” Boenig said. “On the Hunt Seat side, we really learned to focus and how to get geared up to be competitive.
Because many key riders return from the 2007 squad, the bar will remain high for the current squad. In fact, the addition of several talented newcomers has perhaps caused expectations to reach an all-time level.
“I’m very excited about this year,” Boenig said. “Everyone included, I expect them to step it up. I expect the fence heights to get bigger. I expect the competitions to get stronger, especially in the SEC. And I think we’ll be ready to handle it.”
Boenig is looking for her team to make solid gains in the Western discipline as well. The return of second-year assistant coach Carly Veldman, one of
Granted, the loss of two-time team English MVP Logan Fiorentino is considerable. The recent graduate was a rock of stability last season, producing a team-best 25 rides, divided closely in Fences and Flat events. The number of high-quality rides back from 2007, however, should offset her departure.
One of the Bulldogs’ most active English riders last year was freshman Haylie Jayne. The
“Haylie was obviously very strong for us last year,” Boenig said. “She’s terrific, a very hard worker and someone I expect to continue the good things she started. She can do virtually anything when she puts her mind to it.”
Another mainstay Over Fences last season was Kelly Cowperthwait. The junior from
In late summer, the NCAA and SEC granted fifth-year senior Allison Terry a sixth year of eligibility because of back surgery she underwent last fall. If healthy, the
Boenig also expects early contributions from several incoming freshmen. In particular, she is looking to Kit Ritter and Kacy Jenkins to compete for top spots in both English events.
Certainly worth a prominent mention is the presence of another “rookie” in the Bulldog program. Though Boenig is an English-heavy coach, she’ll be leaning on first-year assistant coach Lesli Bailey to direct the talented Hunt Seaters on the 2007 squad. A 2003 graduate of Texas A&M, Bailey was a mainstay in the Aggies’ program for four seasons.
“Lesli brings a level of maturity and professionalism to equestrian,” Boenig said. “She is going to be a wonderful addition, and I am so excited to have her join our team.”
Coming Soon: Western Preview