March 29, 2013
AUBURN, Ala. --- The third-seeded University of Georgia equestrian team fell 10-7 to the second-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks on Friday afternoon at the Southeastern Conference Championship at the Auburn University Horse Center. The Bulldogs are now 8-5 on the season. The Hunt Seat team fell 8-1, while the Western Squad rode to a 5-2 victory. Jackie Hoyt earned an MOP honor for her score of 143.5 in Reining.
"Of course we were extremely disappointed in the results today," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "There are some highlights, certainly with the Western reining squad doing so well at the very end and in the fact that our Western team won today. On the Hunt Seat side, we made some mistakes and errors that we have not made all semester, and what an unfortunate and terrible time for them to happen. We have to challenge ourselves now to learn from this quickly so that we can put it in place for tomorrow and use it for the national championship."
"South Carolina rode great," continued Boenig. "We expected nothing less of them, and they met that expectation. Our riders, and their plans, didn't come through, so they're hurting right now. I know what's coming tomorrow is that we're going to be seeing some great scores."
The No. 3 seed Bulldogs will compete in the consolation round on Saturday, March 30 at 10 a.m. against No. 4 seed Texas A&M. No. 2 seed South Carolina advances to the championship round at 2 p.m. against top-seeded Auburn.
South Carolina got a 4-1 win in Equitation Over Fences to take a 4-1 lead in the competition. Sarah Milliren defeated Sally Henry 161-154 to lead off the event and give the Bulldogs their first point of the day, before the Gamecocks took the final four points.
Anna Sasser opened up Horsemanship with a 149.5-142 win over Alison Ceresani. Paige Stawicki and Maria Salazar both rode to ties and South Carolina's Johnna Letchworth grabbed the next point to knot the Horsemanship score at 1-1. Sara Parr defeated Katie Kopf 150-138.5, resulting in a 2-1 Georgia win and decreasing South Carolina's lead to 5-3.
The Gamecocks took a 4-1 win in Equitation on the Flat to stretch their advantage to 9-4. South Carolina took an early 4-0 lead before Carly Anthony defeated Amber Henter 138-125 to wrap up Equitation on the Flat.
Lauren Tieche, Hoyt and McKenzie Lantz all scored in Reining to give Georgia a 3-1 win in the event, but it was not enough to keep the Gamecocks from winning the meet. The Bulldogs took the first three points, but South Carolina grabbed the final point.
"I'm so proud of the Western squad today," said associate head coach Mary Meneely. "We have some areas that we're working on for tomorrow so that we win each and every day. Shout out goes to Hoyt for her showing today and winning her first Most Outstanding Player. We're looking forward to tomorrow's competition and preparations for the national championship."
The inaugural Southeastern Conference equestrian championship will conclude Saturday, March 30 at the Auburn University Horse Center in Auburn, Ala. Competition will begin at 10 a.m. and admission to the event is free.