Georgia Captures SEC Championship Title
AUBURN, Ala. — The Georgia equestrian team captured the Southeastern Conference Championship Title on Saturday at the Auburn University Horse Center. Tied at eight points each with three rides remaining, Georgia defeated Auburn, 10-9, to claim the victory. It is the second title for the Bulldogs since the sport was officially sponsored by the SEC in 2013.
“This is very exciting,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “It’s starting to sink in. Everyone is so excited, so thrilled, and so joyous. What a fight and an incredible team effort. I am so proud of these ladies, especially the reiners who had the tough job of closing out the events and giving everything they had for their rides. I couldn’t be more proud."
Meg O’Mara was named to the SEC All-Championship Team in Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences after going 2-0 in both events for the weekend.
Highlighting the championship meet were O’Mara (Equitation on the Flat) and Sammie Johnson (Horsemanship) who earned MOP honors for their rides.
Georgia fell behind in Equitation Over Fences, 3-1. Sydney Hutchins rode to a tie against Auburn’s Ashton Alexander with a score of 161, before Meg O’Mara claimed the Bulldogs’ lone point of the event with a 174- 162 victory over Alex Ladove.
Georgia gained the lead in Horsemanship, sweeping all five points. Graysen Stroud defeated Lauren Diaz, 149.5-148.5 and Payton Anderson followed suit with a 149.5-148.5 victory over Hannah Stephens. Bailey Anderson claimed the next point with a 154-146 win over Megan Rauh. Sammie Johnson edged Kelsey Jung, 154-154.5 to earn MOP honors. In the anchor position, Madison Anger completed the sweep with a 150.5-144 defeat of Auburn’s Kara Kaufmann.
Georgia led Auburn 6-3 with two events remaining.
Georgia dropped a 3-2 decision in Equitation on the Flat. Liza Finsness and Meg O’Mara earned points for the Bulldogs with scores of 160 and 74, respectively.
Leading 8-6 with one event remaining, Georgia earned two points in Reining. The Bulldogs dropped the first two points to the Tigers as Auburn evened the score at eight points each. Georgia regained the lead with Kyndall Harper defeating Blair McFarlin, 143-139.5. Lindsey Cheek clinched the win for the Bulldogs win a 139.5-138.5 victory over Lauren Diaz.
The Bulldogs will travel to Waco, Texas for the NCEA National Championship April 12-15 in search of the program’s seventh national title.
Baylor Clinches 2017 Big 12 Title
WACO, Texas — No. 1 Baylor equestrian ran away with the 2017 Big 12 Equestrian Championship trophy, downing No. 2 Oklahoma State, 11-7, in the final round on Saturday afternoon at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
The two sides kicked off the competition with fences and horsemanship, with Baylor taking a 3-2 edge in both events to take a 6-4 lead in the meet.
In fences, Alicia Gasser, Gabby Conte, and Shannon Hogue posted points for BU, with Hogue’s 170 standing as the meet-high mark.
In horsemanship, Kaylee Mellott, Charlotte Green, and Kelsie Holman helped BU put three more on the board, with Mellott’s 150 setting the meet-high score.
The Bears lone event loss was in reining, with BU falling 0-3-2 and adding ties from Elizabeth Shank and Shyanne Smith.
BU finished the meet with a dominating 5-0 win in flat, with Savannah Jenkins, Alicia Gasser, Rachel Van Allen, Brittney Mirkov, and Samantha Howell all taking home points, lifting the Bears to the 2017 Big 12 title.
Jenkins’ 153 was the meet-high, with the senior earning the Most Outstanding Player honors in flat for her performance in the Big 12 Championship.
Baylor also landed eight total All-Big 12 selections and one of the Rider of the Year honors.
Seven riders were named to the eight selections, with Savannah Jenkins earning the triple honors of All-Big 12 in both flat and fences, as well as the Equitation on the Flat Rider of the Year for the conference.
Rachel Van Allen joined Jenkins on the flat All-Big 12 team and Gasser notched a spot on the fences team.
BU took three of the four spots on the Horsemanship All-Big 12 team, with the sophomore trio of Abbi Demel, Aspen Crew, and Kaylee Mellott all earning all-conference honors.
Elizabeth Shank rounded out the All-Big 12 honors for the Bears, the lone Bear named to the reining team.
Cinderella Hornets Capture United Equestrian Conference Championship
HARRINGTON, Del. — Delaware State is the 2017 United Equestrian Conference Tournament champion. The Hornets, seeded fourth in the four-team tournament, out dueled Fresno State, Tennessee-Martin and Southern Methodist University to capture the first conference title in team history at the State Fairgrounds this weekend.
Delaware State won the championship with a nail-biting victory over SMU. The Hornets needed a win on their final ride of the match to tie the score. DSU was declared the winner on a tie-breaker.
The Hornets advanced to the championship match with a close victory over Fresno State that was decided by a re-ride.
Delaware State Western rider Emily Fick (sr.) was selected as the United Equestrian Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Performer in Horsemanship.
The UEC also announced its post-season awards during the tournament.
Hornet junior Elizabeth Koons was honored as the UEC’s Reigning Rider-of-the-Year, while DSU’s Jennifer Ridgely shared Coach-of-the-Year honors with Carol Gwin of Southern Methodist.
No. 4 Texas A&M Tops No. 7 South Carolina, 12-8, at SEC Championship
AUBURN, Ala. — The No. 4 Texas A&M Equestrian team concluded the SEC Championship with a 12-8 victory over South Carolina Saturday at the Auburn University Horse Center.
"I was proud of the way our team bounced back after a tough day yesterday," head coach Tana McKay said. "We had some really nice rides and finished the day strong. Now we get to go back to work to correct our mistakes in time for the NCEA Championships."
The Aggies (9-5) dropped Equitation over Fences, 3-2, to the Gamecocks (6-8) in the first event of the day. Sophomore Rebekah Chenelle tallied the first point for Texas A&M after defeating Chloe Schmidt, 174-133. Chenelle was named MOP for the second time this season. Following suit, junior Rachael Hake outscored Lizzie van der Walde, 167-159.
In Horsemanship, the Aggies fell behind, 3-2, giving South Carolina a 6-4 advantage at the break. Sophomore Sarah Orsak topped Megan Overberg, 149-139, and junior Bailey Cook defeated Bailey Merzejewski, 150.5-146.5, to keep the Maroon & White within two.
Texas A&M rallied to win the meet after taking the final two events, 4-1. In the Hunt Seat arena, the Aggies earned the first four points in Equitation on the Flat with junior Alex Desiderio leading the way with her 172-163 win over Lizze van der Walde. Junior Maddie Swem tallied the second point, outscoring Madison Sellman, 125-108. Senior Anna Rea defeated Lauren Fabiano, 149-145 before Hake knocked off Sydney Smith, 159-156.
In Reining, sophomore Haley Franc defeated Madeline Williams, 66.5-64.5, before the Maroon & White reeled off three consecutive wins. Senior Sarah McEntire recorded a 144.5-142 victory over Paisley Roberts and junior Jaci Marley toppled Jordan Scott, 144.5-143. Senior Sarah Kate Grider beat Madison Thiel 143-141 in the final ride of the day.
Cowgirl Equestrian Finishes Second At Big 12 Championship
WACO, Texas — Oklahoma State's equestrian team took second place at the Big 12 Equestrian Championships this weekend at the Willis Family Equestrian Center. OSU faced both TCU and Baylor over two days, defeating TCU, 11-8, and losing to Baylor, 11-7, in the championship match.
The Cowgirls did garner several league awards, including Big 12 Coach of the Year, Larry Sanchez, and the Big 12 Reining Rider of the Year in Hannah Mitchell. Mitchell, Maggie Drysch, Carly Barrick, Danielle Cohen and Ebba Lange were also honored as All-Big 12 team members. In addition, Miranda Reed and Lange won Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Performer honors in Horsemanship and Reining, respectively.
OSU's matchup with TCU took two days to complete with two events on Friday and two on Saturday morning. Equitation on the Flat and Horsemanship were the first two events. OSU's Horsemanship team once again shut out its opponent, winning the event, 4-0. Maddie Bender, Miranda Reed, Sarah Miller and Libby Collins each won their points. Reed's score of 149.5 was the highest score of any Horsemanship competitor.
In Equitation on the Flat, Mia Bray, Kendall Pedigo and Carly Barrick all won their points to give the Cowgirls the win in that event, 3-2. After two events, the day concluded with the Cowgirls leading the Horned Frogs, 7-2.
Reining on Saturday morning resumed competition as the Cowgirls won, 3-2. Danielle Cohen, Ebba Lange and Hannah Mitchell won their points for the Cowgirls. Mitchell's opponent, TCU's Brooke Boyle was granted a re-ride as was Mitchell. A judge can grant a re-ride if they determine that a horse is unsuitable or unsafe. The delay didn't phase the freshman as she secured the winning point for the Cowgirls, defeating Boyle, 142.5-131.
Carly Barrick picked up the final point for the Cowgirls in Equitation over Fences, pushing the final score to 11-8.
Next up, the Cowgirls faced Baylor for the de-facto Big 12 Championship match with the host-Bears prevailing, 11-7.
The Cowgirl Reining team shut out Baylor, winning the event, 3-0. Ebba Lange, Julia Purus and Danielle Cohen won their points.
Carly Barrick and Jorden Davis were bright spots on the Hunt Seat squad, winning their points in Equitation over Fences, 159-147 and 135-129, respectively.
OSU's Horsemanship team also snagged points from Miranda Reed and Maddie Bender as they defeated their opponents, 146-136.5 and 141-136, respectively.