Maria Salazar scored a 73 in Horsemanship
Oct. 10, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. - The top-ranked University of Georgia equestrian team returns to action on Friday, Oct. 12 at 1 p.m., when it take on the fifth-ranked and defending Hunt Seat National Champions Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas. It is the second time in as many competitions that Georgia has taken on a team that won a national title last season. It is also the second time this season that the Bulldogs will take on a team ranked in the top-five.
"Our main focus is to get better everyday," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "That means getting better in every aspect, whether we are practicing, competing, in the classroom or even helping out a teammate. Competing on the road is very different than competing at home. We know that Baylor is the defending Hunt Seat National Champions and there is good reason for it. We have to treat every single day as a stepping-stone. Baylor will be a great test for us to see how far along we are and how strong we are as a team and we are excited to face the Bears this weekend."
Georgia has never lost to the Bears during the regular season and is a perfect 4-0 when it faces them in Waco. The Bulldogs picked up a 13-6 win over Baylor last season in Bishop, Ga. Georgia has not faced the Bears in Waco since the 2010-11 season, when it won 11-8. Georgia is no stranger to riding in Waco, however, having competed in six national championships there. The Bulldogs have won three national titles, two reserve titles and have never finished lower than third overall when the national championship is held in Waco, Texas.
"On the Western side, we are focusing on the mantra of `win the day,'" assistant coach Mary Meneely said. "Everything we do, both inside and outside of the arena, is to get better. Every rider has an individual goal to reach and our goal as a team is meeting each individual goal. We are excited to get on the road and I know it will be a great test for our riders."
The Bulldogs are coming off a 17-5 victory over the Texas A&M Aggies. Georgia used a dominating performance by the Hunt Seat team to defeat the Aggies in the first-ever Southeastern Conference equestrian meet. The Bulldog Hunt Seat squad outscored Texas A&M 11-1, including career-high and MVP-wining score of 97 by Caitlyn Francis in Equitation on the Flat. In addition to Francis' 97, three other Bulldogs earned scores in the 90's in Equitation on the Flat. Georgia's Western team defeated Texas A&M 6-4, including a 4-2 win in Reining. McKenzie Lantz, Samantha Belcher and Lauren Tieche tied for Georgia's high score, each finishing with a 69.5. Each of Georgia's Horsemanship riders scored in the 70s, with Megan Hawkins leading the way with a 73.5.