Sept. 19, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. – The University of Georgia equestrian team will start the regular season tied with Texas A&M as the No. 1 team in the nation, according to the Preseason Women’s Intercollegiate Equestrian National Coaches Poll released today. The four equestrian programs of the Southeastern Conference headline the poll, as Auburn is ranked third and South Carolina is ranked fourth.
“As if we weren’t excited enough to open against Texas A&M, this poll adds fuel to a fire,” Head Coach Meghan Boenig said. “Our Dawgs have one thing on their minds – to win a national championship. They know that everything they do contributes to this goal from workouts to grades to practice to teamwork and they are excited to get this season underway.”
It won’t take long to decide who the top team in the nation is, as Georgia hosts the defending national champion Texas A&M, in the first-ever head-to-head SEC equestrian competition on Sept. 30. Georgia is coming off its second consecutive NCEA Reserve Championship, finishing last season with an 11-3 record, which included a 10-meet win streak during the regular season.
The Bulldogs return several familiar faces, including All-Americans Carly Anthony (equitation on the flat) and Megan Hawkins (horsemanship). Georgia also returns All-American Honorable Mentions Abby O’Mara (equitation over fences), Kylee Arbuckle (equitation on the flat), Maria Salazar (horsemanship), Paige Stawicki (horsemanship), Samantha Belcher (reining) and McKenzie Lantz (reining).
The four programs of the SEC are the only teams to win NCEA overall national team championships in the event’s history, with Georgia leading the way with five team titles.
The coaches poll will be released bi-monthly, with the next announcement scheduled for Oct. 3, 2012
The inaugural SEC equestrian championships are set to take place March 29-30, 2013 at Auburn, Ala.
Equestrian Coaches Poll (Sept. 19, 2012)
T1. Georgia (82)
T1. Texas A&M (82)
3. Auburn (63)
4. South Carolina (61)
5. Oklahoma State (57)
6. Baylor (40)
7. Kansas State (35)
8. TCU (31)
9. Fresno State (13)
10. New Mexico State (12)
Also Receiving Votes: SMU, Delaware State, UT-Martin, South Dakota State, West Texas A&M.