GEORGIA CROWNED SEC CHAMPIONS
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. -- Georgia equestrian became back-to-back Southeastern Conference Champions after defeating the Auburn Tigers, 12-7, Saturday afternoon at One Wood Farm.
Senior Addy Cord (Equitation on the Flat), sophomore Ali Tritschler (Equitation Over Fences) and junior Graysen Stroud (Reining) earned All-Championship Team honors for their rides in the semifinal and final round of the championship this weekend.
Additionally, three Bulldogs earned MOP honors for their rides in the finals round of the championship against Auburn. Junior Maddie Newman was recognized for her ride in Equitation on the Flat, while sophomore Maddy Darst earned the award in Equitation Over Fences. Graysen Stroud collected the honors for her ride in Reining.
"This is an incredible feeling," head coach Meghan Boenig said. "This is such a deserving and hard-working team. We saw such dominance right from the start and I'm so proud of the atmosphere we brought here today. The senior class has led this team with enthusiasm and it had a tremendous impact on building confidence and trust within each other to get us to be back-to-back SEC Champions."
Georgia fell behind early in Horsemanship, dropping three points to Auburn. Senior Sammie Johnson rode to a tie with a score of 150 against Auburn's Lauren Diaz, before junior Graysen Stroud put the Bulldogs on the board with a 153.5-152.5 point over Kara Kaufmann.
The Bulldogs claimed all five points in Equitation Over Fences to take a 6-3 at the halfway point of competition. Sophomores Sydney Hutchins and Ali Tritschler defeated their opponents with scores of 162 and 167, respectively, before fellow sophomore Maddy Darst rode to an event-high 171 to top Auburn's Taylor St. Jacques' 167. Junior Emma Mandarino defeated her opponent, 162-150, and senior Addy Cord closed out the event with a 163-157 victory.
Georgia extended its lead in Equitation on the Flat, earning three points. The Bulldogs gave up the first two points of the event to the Tigers, before Madison Newman rode to an MOP-earning score of 167. Cord followed with a 164-151 victory over Auburn's Caitlin Creel. Darst rounded out the event with a 155-152 point for Georgia.
Georgia held a 9-6 lead over Auburn after dropping the first point in Reining. The Bulldogs sealed the SEC Championship title with a 141.5- 139 win from freshman Jordan Carpenter. Kyndall Harper and Graysen Stroud earned Georgia's final two points of the meet with scores of 140.5 and 143.5, respectively.
Georgia will travel to Waco, Texas to compete for the NCEA National Championship April 18-21. New to the championship format this year, teams will be crowned national champions for each event and both disciplines in addition to the overall team champion.
CHAMPIONS! SMU Captures UEC Conference Title
DALLAS (SMU) – The top-seeded SMU equestrian team claimed its first conference title in program history, defeating No. 3-seed Fresno State, 13-3, in the United Equestrian Conference title round Saturday afternoon at the Dallas Equestrian Center.
"They were unbelievable. This team is so good and I'm so proud of them," SMU head coach Carol Gwin said. "This is the first conference championship [in program history], which is huge for the program. It has been our goal over the last four years and I couldn't be prouder of what we have built and where the program is going."
"I felt like we would have won against anyone the way the girls rode today," Gwin added. "I thought all four sides of our team rode really well and it was a huge collective effort. Despite losses down the stretch, I feel like losing makes you stronger if you're a good team, and it will break you apart if you're not. This is a very good team. We learned a lot from our losses and we learned the level we needed to be at."
SMU swept the Championship MOP honors, with each rider posting 2-0 records over the course of the weekend. Hayley Banas (Fences) and Vivian Yowan (Flat) were the Hunt Seat honorees, while Haylee Schoonover (Horsemanship) and Madison Steed (Reining) were the Western honorees.
SMU swept Equitation Over Fences to jump to a 4-0 lead over Fresno State. Brett Burlington led the charge, defeating Alex Dirickson 171-157 to open the day. Banas bested Sierra Swaffar, 167-142, before Nora Gray captured a 161-145 win over Paige Pastorino. Yowan recorded a 173, to better Kylina Chalack's 156, to secure the discipline sweep.
The Mustangs topped the Bulldogs 3-1 in Horsemanship. Ashley Mauney used a 151.5-150.5 edge to put SMU on the board, before Schoonover used a pair of 76.5s to beat Taeya Harle, 153-150. Kara Vickery sealed the event win with a dominant 148.5-138.5 win over Katie Altenhofel.
The SMU Equitation on the Flat squad used a dominant 3-1 performance to seal the event and ultimately the UEC title. Gray set the pace, outscoring Dirickson 157-151. Yowan was up next, defeating Swaffar 153-150. The UEC Freshman Flat Rider of the Year Kirsten Ostling notched the final point, a 133-128 decision over Brooke Nelson.
The Mustangs rounded out the dominant day with a 3-1 reining win against the Bulldogs. Steed set the bar, taking a 148-143 victory over Kara Gustafson. Keagan Snively knocked off Shea Gilson, 141.5-140, before Holly Lansidel closed the day with a 140.5-139.5 edge over Paige Barton.
Over the two-day event, SMU only conceded four total points. SMU advanced to the championship after a 15-1 victory over No-4 seed South Dakota State on Friday.
The SMU equestrian team will next travel to Waco, Texas for the NCEA National Championship April 18-21. For the latest updates on the equestrian team, check with www.smumustangs.com.
Cowgirls Take Home Sixth Big 12 Championship
SPRINGTOWN, TEXAS – Oklahoma State's third-ranked equestrian team defeated No. 7 Baylor, 13-7, on Saturday to clinch the school's sixth Big 12 Championship at Turning Point Ranch.
The teams were tied at five apiece a the halfway point, but the Cowgirls outscored the Bears, 8-2 during the second half of competition.
The Cowgirls took Equitation on the Flat, 4-1. Abigail Brayman, Maggie Drysch, Hannah Janson and Kendall Pedigo earned points for the Cowgirls with Brayman getting a high score of 177.
The Cowgirls continued their domination in Reining, which they won, 4-1. Danielle Cohen, Ebba Lange and Hannah Mitchell received points for the Cowgirls with Purus getting the highest score of 149.
The Cowgirls took Horsemanship, 3-2. Libby Collins, Harley Huff and Sarah Miller won their matchups with Huff taking a high score of 153.5.
OSU fell in Equitation Over Fences, 2-3. Brayman and Janson won the two points and Brayman continued her dominance with a score of 180.
The Cowgirls also swept the Most Outstanding Performer honors for the entire weekend. Brayman took home the MOP of the tournament in Flat and Fences. Cohen was the MOP in Reining and Huff was the MOP in Horsemanship.
The Cowgirls' half dozen Big 12 titles lead the league. Baylor is second with three.
Along with winning the Big 12 Championship, the Cowgirls also took home several individual awards. Head Coach Larry Sanchez received his second consecutive and third overall Big 12 Coach of the Year honor.
Carly Barrick and Huff took home Big 12 Rider of the Year honors with Huff receiving hers in Horsemanship and Barrick in Equitation Over Fences.
Several Cowgirls were named to the All-Big 12 teams with Barrick being named to the Equitation Over Fences squad. Huff was also named to the All-Big 12 Horsemanship team.
The Cowgirls saw two riders named to the All-Big 12 team for Reining. Lange and Mitchell were the two recipients of that honor.
Up next the Cowgirls will head to the NCEA championships in Waco, Texas, on April 18-21.