April 19, 2013
WACO, Texas --- The third-seeded University of Georgia equestrian team will be advancing to the National Collegiate Equestrian Association national championship semi-finals on Saturday, April 20 at Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. The Hunt Seat rode to a 6-2 victory over sixth-seeded Southern Methodist and the Western Squad defeated No. 6 seed Texas A&M, 5-2.
"This is a great feeling," said head coach Meghan Boenig. "There was a lot of anticipation and expectation, which these girls took and said `We're just going to execute what we've been doing every day, feel our rides, trust in our abilities and look up and show to the judges.' That's exactly what they did. They eliminated almost all errors, were extremely confident and had beautiful rides. We need great repetition for tomorrow, because tomorrow is not going to be any different than today. These girls know that they have to execute every single time."
After a 2-2 tie in Equitation Over Fences, the Bulldogs took all four points in Equitation on the Flat to win the matchup against SMU, 6-2. In Equitation Over Fences, Sarah Milliren lost the first point, 164-153, to Emma Roberts of SMU. Carly Anthony defeated Alex Butterworth 175-154 to knot the score at 1-1, before Olivia Dorey took her point 169-160 over Courtney Line to put Georgia up 2-1. Schaefer Raposa took the final Equitation Over Fences point for SMU with a 173-149 win over Abby O'Mara.
Georgia came back strong in Equitation on the Flat, starting with Catilyn Francis' win, 167-145, over Paulena Johnson. Carly Anthony took the next point with a 173-151 win over Julianna Fischer and Grace Rogers kept things going by defeating Mary Abbruzzese 166-151. After being granted a re-ride, Kylee Arbuckle defeated Courtney Line 156-152 to seal the 4-0 victory for Georgia.
The Western Squad took on early 2-1 lead in Reining and used a 3-1 win in Horsemanship to defeat Texas A&M. Lindsey Bernbaum inched by Lauren Tieche, 138-137, to take the first point for the Aggies in Reining. Becca Haaland defeated Becca Murray 142.5-139 to tie the Reining score at 1-1. McKenzie Lantz tied Texas A&M's Ashley Skold, 133-133, so neither team was awarded the point. Sami Belcher rode to a 136-131 win over Laura Sumrall to give the Bulldogs the Reining win 2-1.
In Horsemanship, Paige Stawicki started things off with a 151-146 victory over Cassie Mantor. Anna Sasser followed with a 150-148.5 win over Amanda Brightwell to put the Bulldogs up 2-0. Texas A&M took a point to bring the score to 2-1 when Carey Nowacek defeated Maria Salazar 149-146. Megan Hawkins sealed the win for Georgia with a 146-144.5 win over Molli Jacobs.
The Hunt Seat will face No. 2 seed South Carolina in the semi-finals at 9:00 a.m. CT on Saturday, April 20. The Western Squad will take on second-seeded Kansas State in the semi-finals at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. The championship meets will follow the semi-finals Saturday afternoon.
Championship starting lineups for both teams are slated for 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. The Equitation on the Flat Championship will begin at 1:30 p.m., the Horsemanship Championship will begin at 2:30 p.m., the Equitation Over Fences Championship is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. and the Reining Championship will start at 4:15 p.m. The Crowing of Champions will be at 5:30 p.m.
The NCEA championship will conclude Saturday, April 20 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. Admission to the event is free.