Sept. 26, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. - The top-ranked Georgia equestrian team kicks off its season on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m., against the Fresno State Bulldogs at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga. Georgia is 7-0 all time against Fresno State and is an impressive 8-2 in season-openers. The Bulldogs are 7-1 when they open the season at home.
"I am excited to build off of the momentum from the Red and Black Scrimmage last weekend," Head Coach Meghan Boenig said. "We have been looking at video and evaluating our rides from last weekend are ready to step up our level of competition. We will have the opportunity to have several exhibition rides and demos this weekend, so we will get a lot of riders into the ring and get some experience as we begin SEC competition the following week. We have had a great start to the season and are looking to build on that."
Georgia is coming off a successful Red and Black Scrimmage that allowed several riders to gain valuable experience in the ring. The Red Team earned a 10-4 win over the Black Team in the competition. Madi Clark (Equitation on the Flat), Claudia Spreng (Reining), Alyssa Mansfield (Equitation Over Fences) and Jane Sutcliff (Horsemanship) each earned MOP honors.
Fresno State is wrapping up a three-meet road trip when it faces Georgia on Sunday. The Bulldogs are set to ride against South Carolina on Friday and Auburn on Saturday. In addition to welcoming Fresno State, it will be a homecoming of sort, as the Bulldogs are coached by former Georgia standout Collins Daye.
"It is always exciting to welcome a former rider back to Athens as a coach," Boenig said. "Collins has done a tremendous job at Fresno State and we respect the program that she is building. We will have to be well prepared for this competition because we know that she will have them prepared."
The Bulldogs look to build off its successful 2012-13 campaign that saw Georgia finish with an overall record of 8-4. The Bulldogs earned their third-straight NCEA Reserve Title and were also the runners-up a year ago for the NCEA Hunter Seat National Championship. Georgia's Western squad finished third.
Georgia returns 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.