No. 5 Georgia Tops No. 1 Texas A&M, 12-4
BISHOP, Ga. — The fifth-ranked Georgia equestrian team defeated the top-ranked Texas A&M Aggies, 12-4, on Senior Day to remain undefeated at home for the season. With the win, Georgia improves to 8-4, 4-2 in the SEC. Texas A&M falls to 8-3, 3-2 SEC.
Highlighting the meet was senior Meg O'Mara who earned Most Outstanding Performance (MOP) honors in both Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat. The Rumson, New Jersey native remains undefeated in Equitation on the Flat for the season with a perfect 12-0 record. Sophomore Graysen Stroud earned MOP honors for her ride in Reining.
Georgia honored its 17 seniors following the meet and thanked them for their contributions to the program during their time in the Red and Black. Since joining the team, this group has been crowned NCEA National Champions, SEC Champions, and NCEA Reserve National Champions. The class currently has a career record of 46-17.
"It's an incredible feeling," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "Everything just worked out perfectly, from literally the skies parting as we were singing the National Anthem to the huge win having a bell here to ring at the end. You put all of these things in place and then the thing you have to execute is everything you have been doing in practice and that's a big lynchpin. These girls came out and executed today."
Georgia jumped to an early 4-1 lead in Equitation Over Fences. Emma Mandarino put Georgia on the board with an 86-77 victory over Texas A&M's Kai Devoglaer, before Sydney Hutchins scored an 83 to defeat Alex Desiderio's 81. Maddy Darst outscored her opponent, 85-75, to earn another point for the Bulldogs. O'Mara closed out the event topping Rebekah Chenelle, 86-72.
The Bulldogs earned one point in Horsemanship after Bailey Anderson defeated Texas A&M's Sarah Orsak, 73-67.5. Sammie Johnson and Madison Anger both rode to a tie against their opponents with scores of 77 and 74.5, respectively.
Georgia led Texas A&M, 5-3, at the break.
Georgia rode to a 4-1 victory in Equitation on the Flat. O'Mara scored an event-high 84 in the lead off position and remains undefeated in the event for the season after Chenelle scored an 81. Finsness grabbed the next point for the Bulldogs with an 81-78 victory over Desiderio. Madison Newman rode to an 80-72 victory, before Darst closed out the event with another point for Georgia, 80-73.
In Reining, the Bulldogs outscored the Aggies, 3-1. Stroud earned the clinching point for Georgia with a 71-69 victory over Texas A&M's Sarah Kate Grider. Lindsey Cheek followed suit with a 71-69.5 point for the Bulldogs, before Kyndall Harper rode to a tie against her opponent with a score of 68.5. Claudia Spreng earned Georgia's final point of the day with a 71-69.5 defeat of Madison Bohman.
Georgia will conclude regular season competition on Friday, March 3 at Fresno State. The SEC Championship will be held in Auburn, Alabama on March 24-25. The season will officially conclude at the NCEA National Championship to be held April 12-15 in Waco, Texas.
No. 4 Auburn Earns 10-8 Road Win at No. 8 South Carolina
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — Behind big scores from its youthful squad, the No. 4 Auburn equestrian team picked up the coveted road win and defeated No. 8 South Carolina, 10-8, at One Wood Farm in Blythewood, S.C., Saturday afternoon. The win moved Auburn to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in Southeastern Conference competition.
“This was a great road win,” head coach Greg Williams said. “We rocked along in complacency most of this year and I even shrugged off a couple losses, which is very uncharacteristic. I am so proud of the way our team has banded together and are riding to win. From what I’ve been seeing, this is only the beginning. We haven’t seen anything yet.”
Auburn lead the Gamecocks, 9-5, heading into the final event of the day – Reining. Sophomore Betsy Brown sealed the victory in the opening match, scoring a career best 75 points to earn MOP honors. That total also tied with the team’s highest score this season. Adding to the Tigers team total was sophomore Blair McFarlin, who defeated Madison Thiel, 71-69, for her fifth win of the year.
The squad went into intermission with a comfortable 5-3 advantage over South Carolina following a solid showing from both the Equitation on the Flat and Horsemanship riders.
The Auburn Flat corps finished 3-1 overall and was led by an MOP ride from sophomore Ashton Alexander, defeating Sydney Smit, 87-84. The award was her second of the season in the event. Classmate Hayley Iannotti picked up her sixth win in Flat with an 88-85 victory and senior Ashley Foster followed with another 88 points in her win. Sophomore Caitlin Boyle tied Lauren Fabiano, 82-82.
Senior Hannah Stephens paced the Horsemanship crew as the Tigers finished 3-2 in the discipline. The Fort Valley, Va., product’s ride earned 75 points and gave her MOP honors. Kara Kaufmann continued to excel in her first year with AU, securing a 73.5-71 win over Bailey Mierzejewski to remain undefeated at 7-0-1. Competing for the first time this season for Auburn was freshman Drew Rogers and the Bakersfield, Calif., native finished with a tie, 72.5-72.5.
The Auburn Hunt Seat riders went 3-2 in Equitation Over Fences. Foster’s 90 points in her win was the second-highest total by any Tiger in the event this season and gave Foster her second-straight Fences MOP award. Alexander edged Lizzie Van der Walde, 86-85, and sophomore Alex Ladove won her third-consecutive Fences match with an 83-75 victory.
The Tigers will close out their regular season traveling to No. 2 Baylor (March 3) and No. 1 Texas A&M (March 4). Auburn will host the 2017 SEC Equestrian Championship, March 24-25, at the Auburn University Horse Center.
No. 10 TCU Drops SDSU, 9-6
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The No. 10 Horned Frog equestrian team proved themselves against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits Saturday, finishing the meet 9-6.
The Frogs began the meet Friday, completing half of both Hunt Seat and Western with an overall score of 4-3, SDSU leading. The Purple and White were 2-2 in Equitation on the Flat, but fell 1-2 in Reining.
The Frogs are now 5-7 overall on the season. The Jacks are now 2-7 on the season coming into their meet today with NMSU.
Senior Carley Montemuro had the lone point for the Frogs in Reining with a 72-point ride on Callie against SDSU’s Nicole Harvey who had a score of 70.5. Senior Rylee Morgan had a draw with Catelyn Hall, both with 71.5 rides.
In Equitation on the Flat, senior Kari Hancock shined with a 80 point ride against SDSU’s Natalie Howard. Her ride was en route to earning herself an MOP. Carley Barnett won the other point for the Frogs, winning out against Jessica Martinez on Sebastian.
Second half of the meet came on Saturday with the Frogs completing Horsemanship and Equitation over Fences against the Jackrabbits.
Over Fences TCU had stellar performances from senior duo Molly Peddicord and Kari Hancock and junior Jayme Omand, all three winning their points for the Frogs. Kari Hancock swept the MOPs for Hunt Seat with her 83-point ride on Lucy against the Jacks’ Jacey Chorlton.
In Horsemanship, freshman Josie Mootz, sophomore Marah Huston, and senior Megan McMullen won their points for the Purple and White, with Huston’s ride earning her an MOP for the day.
Sophomore Marah Huston
“We went out there, put it all on the line and it paid off. We’ve been working really hard in practice so it finally all came together.”
The Frogs will head to College Station, Texas to take on the Texas A&M Aggies on March 11.
Equestrian Downs New Mexico State in Tiebreak
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The South Dakota State equestrian team defeated No. 9 New Mexico State 8-8 in raw score (1228-1204.25).
"This weekend we came together as a team and we learned from our mistakes in the first meet," said head coach Ellie Wilkins. "It took every ride and point to secure the win and I couldn't be more proud of how the team performed today."
Alissa Greenwald won the lone point for the Jacks in Equitation over Fences with a 79-72 decision over Samantha Perlman.
Senior Kelsey Swainston captured her 20th career-win upending Haylee Schoonever, 73-69.5. Jordan Gates defeated Quinn Brandt, 70.5-59.
In Equitation on the Flat, the Jacks and the Aggies tied 2-2. Natalie Howard claimed MOP accolades with an 80-78 victory over Madison Brayman. Jacey Chorlton topped Karianna Knezevich, 76-74.
Nicole Harvey won her first point on the season, dropping Kiley Newkirk, 72.5-64 in Reining. Miranda Sullivan claimed her point with a 70.5-68 mark over Allison Nordvall. Mariah Wright went 2-0 on the weekend earning MOP honors with a 73.5-72 victory over Katherine Arnold.
SDSU hosts SMU March 11 for Senior Day at the DeHaan Equestrian Center. Start time is et for 9 a.m.