Sept. 12, 2013
Coming off of its third-straight NCEA Reserve National Title, the Georgia equestrian team looks to carry that momentum into the 2013-14 season. Last season, the Bulldogs finished with an 8-4 regular season record before falling just short of reaching the programs sixth national title.
"I am very excited for this season," Head Coach Meghan Boenig said. "We have outstanding freshman and I am really looking forward to seeing how they perform throughout the year. We also have upperclassmen that are taking on tremendous leadership roles within the team. As a team, we love where we ended up last season from a competitive drive standpoint and we don't want to lose that edge. I really believe that our junior and senior class are setting a high standard and bringing everyone along with them. With the talent and depth that we have this year, I think we can do some spectacular things."
The Bulldogs have implemented the new STRIDE (Strategic Targeting Results In Developed Excellence) program, an individual based evaluation approach focused on overall development and performance. STRIDE breaks down the areas of Academics, Athletics, Team, and Whole Health to enhance accountability for every member of the team. With this system in place it will help accomplish every goal that is set, both as individuals and as a team.
This season's schedule includes 12 regular-season competitions, including six against Southeastern Conference teams.
The 2013-14 SEC Championship will be held March 28-29 and hosted by South Carolina in Blythewood, S.C. The season will conclude April 17-19 at the NCEA Championship in Waco, Texas.
The Hunt Seat side looks to continue its success from last season, after recording nearly 80 head-to-head wins. In Equitation Over Fences, Georgia is lead by senior All-American Olivia Dorey, who finished the regular season with an 11-2 record, and senior All-SEC selection Abby O'Mara who rode to a 9-6 regular season record including two MOP honors. The Hunt Seat team also returns sophomore Sarah Milliren who, after posting a regular season record of 5-1 with two MOPs, was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
In Equitation on the Flat, Georgia returns several riders that saw significant time in the arena last season. Senior Caitlyn Francis ended the regular season with a 9-5 record and went undefeated at the 2013 NCEA National Championship. All-SEC selection Kylee Arbuckle also returns after posting an 8-5 regular season record. Other returners include SEC All-Freshman Leylan Gleeson, Megan Southam and O'Mara who combined for a total of eight wins.
The Western squad looks to build upon its third-place finish at the 2013 NCEA National Championship. Led by senior All-American McKenzie Lantz, who went 13-1-1 in regular season with four MOPs, the Reining squad also returns Lauren Tieche, who picked up eight wins last season including one MOP honor. Other returners who saw significant riding time include Jackie Hoyt, Caroline Blackshear, and Michelina Carbone who combined for a total of six wins.
The Horsemanship team also returns a group of impressive riders. Senior Anna Sasser enters her final season coming off an 8-5-2 regular season record, while junior Paige Stawicki returns after riding to a 9-5-1 record a year ago. Also returning for Georgia is Sara Parr, who picked up five wins for the Bulldogs last season.
Georgia kicks off its season Sept. 20 when it hosts its annual Red and Black Scrimmage at 4 p.m., at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga. The regular-season gets underway Sept. 29 at 10 a.m., when the Bulldogs host Fresno State.