Sept. 26, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The top-ranked University of Georgia equestrian prepares for a showdown with defending national champion and Southeastern Conference newcomer Texas A&M on Sunday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m., at the UGA Equestrian Center in Bishop, Ga. The meet features a pairing of the two teams that finished first and second last season and is the first-ever SEC equestrian match. Adding fuel to the fire for the meet, Georgia and Texas A&M are tied as the No. 1 team in the country.
“We are thrilled to host Texas A&M in the first-ever SEC equestrian head to head meet,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “The riders are strong in their practices to prepare for this meet and are really looking forward to the competition. In fact I would describe them as hungry, passionate and motivated. They know beating Texas A&M brings them one step closer to earning two championships, SEC and NCEA.”
The meet marks the second-straight time that Georgia has opened its schedule with Texas A&M. Last season, the Aggies came away with a 13-10 lead, however the Bulldogs lead the all-time series 2-1. The Bulldogs are 8-1 in season openers, including a perfect 8-0 mark in meets that open the season at home.
Georgia will look to its returning corps of riders, who finished with an overall record of 11-3 that included a 10-meet win streak during the regular season. Among the returners are All-Americans Carly Anthony and Megan Hawkins and All-American Honorable Mentions Abby O’Mara, Kylee Arbuckle, Maria Salazar, Paige Stawicki, Samantha Belcher and McKenzie Lantz.
“Opening with our new SEC opponent Texas A&M is the opportunity to compete at a high level right out of the gate,” added Boenig. “I know we will have a strong start to the season and continue to set a new standard for Georgia equestrian.”
Fans are encouraged to get to the meet early, as the first 200 fans will receive a free “I Love Georgia Equestrian” button and the first 300 fans will receive a UGA Equestrian t-shirt. Fans will also be treated to Bulldog Trivia and a 90/75 score contest for the chance to win gift cards. In addition to the giveaways and contests, kids will have the opportunity to have their picture taken with a pony, paint a pony, build a horse, have their face painted and decorate posters and horseshoes. Admission is free.