ATHENS, Ga. --- This fall semester has been a busy time for University of Georgia Athletics. The football team is competing for an SEC Championship, volleyball has shown a marked improvement over last year, the school’s tennis and golf teams have enjoyed extensive autumn success, and the basketball teams are gearing up to play. Perhaps lost in this athletic cacophony has been the success of Georgia’s Equestrian team. A perennial national title contender, this year’s squad has displayed nothing less than championship promise.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs are sophomore rider Haylie Jayne and freshman Kacy Jenkins. Jayne, a sophomore from Illinois, has only one loss between English Equitation on the Flat and Fences, and she boasts five MVP rides already this season.
Jayne considers her greatest accomplishment thus far this year to be at the Stephen F. Austin meet, where the Bulldogs took wins in three out of the four events. Winning the MVP award of the Flat event at the Stephen F. Austin event was no simple task. Jayne drew the services of a tough horse and had to overcome that obstacle in addition to the stiff competition on her way to post-show honors. She was not the only Bulldog to garner recognition from that event, however.
Kacy Jenkins, a freshman from Potomac Falls, Virginia, took home MVP honors in the English Equitation competition. The fast start to her young career has her teammates, competition, and coaches taking notice. Assistant coach Lesli Bailey, who works most closely with Georgia’s English riders, says "I'm really excited for Kacy. She's been working so hard at getting better, putting in the extra hours necessary to improve. It's very gratifying to see her get rewarded so quickly in her young career."
Jayne and Jenkins have been making noise during the first half of this Equestrian season, but the stiffest competition is yet to come. The Bulldogs have shows with South Carolina, Auburn, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Kansas State upcoming, and cannot get lackadaisical in their efforts.
On the team’s championship hopes, Jayne feels that the squad can go undefeated for the rest of the year. “Everyone is riding really well”, claims the sophomore. “We are headed in a real positive direction.” The next competition is Sunday, November 11th, at home against Auburn.