Sept. 16, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia is the nation’s No. 1 equestrian team, according to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Preseason rankings, as determined by the NCEA selection committee. This marks the second-straight year that the Bulldogs have started the season ranked No. 1.
The Bulldogs, who finished the 2013 season with an overall record of 8-4, were the runners-up a year ago for both the NCEA Overall National Championship and the NCEA Hunter Seat National Championship. Georgia's Western squad finished third.
“It is a great honor to be recognized by our fellow coaches and colleagues as the nation’s top program,” Head Coach Meghan Boenig said. “This season marks the first time that the English and Western riders will compete for a championship as one team. This new format will allow us to use our strength and depth as one united team as we work towards bringing the championship back to Athens. Our athletes bring passion, dedication and determination to each practice, which is what is what we must repeat each day to realize the 2014 championship. The challenge remains in seeing it all the way through; a test these ladies tackle head on.”
The Bulldogs return 21 riders who were regulars in the lineup last season, including two All-Americans and six riders who earned a spot on an All-SEC team. Georgia also signed an impressive class this season, giving the Bulldogs talent and depth in every event.
The Southeastern Conference is well represented in the NCEA Preseason Poll, as defending National Champion Auburn checks in at No. 2, while defending SEC Champion South Carolina is ranked third. Texas A&M will open its season ranked sixth. In all, five of the first six opponents that the Bulldogs will face this season are ranked in the NCEA Preseason Poll.
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.