Saturday, March 9, 2019

No. 1 Auburn downs No. 7 Georgia on Senior Day, 17-3

The No. 1 Auburn equestrian team did something no other program has done in the modern history of the sport. The Tigers put together an undefeated regular season as the squad topped rival and No. 7 Georgia, 17-3, Friday at the Auburn University Equestrian Center.

The win moved the squad to 13-0 overall and 6-0 in the Southeastern Conference

"Going undefeated is just so hard to do with this sport so this is unbelievable," head coach Greg Williams said. "I couldn't be more proud of this team. I think the biggest reason we finished undefeated was the way they conduct themselves out of the arena. They have a great team unity and chemistry and they are a force to be reckoned with."

Auburn also recognized the 15 members of the 2019 senior class during the meet. The group holds a 56-10 record over four seasons with two national championships and one conference title.

"Hats off to the senior leadership on this team," Williams said. "This class is really special and the one thing they are trying to do is push the underclassmen into roles of leadership. They want to leave a legacy of here and are on their way to that."

Auburn opened up the meet with a pair of 4-1 wins in Equitation on the Flat and Horsemanship. Senior Hayley Iannotti kicked off the day with a 75-74 edge over her opponent before sophomore Taylor St. Jacques picked up her sixth MOP in the event this season with 81 points in her win. Senior Ashton Alexander and freshman Emma Kurtz capped Flat with a pair of victories.

In Horsemanship, senior Lauren Diaz continued her impressive final season on the Plains with a 71.5-69.5 victory. The win pushed the Heath, Ohio, product to 12-1 on the year.

Sophomore Taylor Searles followed with her MOP ride, scoring 76 points to best her opponent's 71. Senior Kelsey Jung edged Lexie Lane, 72.5-72, before sophomore Deanna Green earned 75.5 points to win her match.

The Equitation Over Fences corps continued the big day with another 4-1 win over the Bulldogs. Senior Caitlin Boyle edged her opponent with 82 points and was followed by a big ride from freshman McKayla Langmeier. The East Granby, Conn., product scored 86 points in her win, picking up MOP and remaining undefeated in the event. Alexander and St. Jacques followed with 80 and 84 points, respectively, to pick up wins for the Tigers.

Putting an exclamation on the day was the Reining crew as they swept Georgia, 5-0. Green and classmate Terri-June Granger opened up with wins before a trio of seniors capped things off. Senior Ali Fratessa bested her opponent by two points to earn her team-leading ninth win of the year. Classmate Blair McFarlin followed with another two-point victory and senior Betsy Brown sealed the deal with 72.5 points in her win for MOP.

No. 6 South Carolina downs Delaware State on Senior Day, 14-5

The South Carolina equestrian team defeated Delaware State on Senior Day, 15-4, on Friday afternoon at One Wood Farm. The No. 6 Gamecocks won both the Western and Hunter Seat portions of the day, 8-1 and 7-3, respectively.

With the victory, South Carolina ends the regular season at 6-6 overall and 1-5 in SEC competitions. The Hornets fell to a season mark of 3-7 and stand at 3-1 in the UEC.

Carolina swept MOP honors in its last meet of the regular season. Senior Madison Thiel had the highest-scoring ride of the Horsemanship competition with a 76, earning the honor. In Equitatoin on the Flat, senior Madison Brayman was awarded for her 84. Junior Caroline Gute took the award in Reining after scoring a 71.5. In Equitation Over Fences, freshman Grady Lyman was honored for her 80-point ride.

"It was one of our goals to ride extremely well and to send our seniors out on our last meet at home with a big win, which happened," head coach Boo Major said. "All of our seniors rode really well. All of the seniors got to ride and compete today, which was fantastic. We saw a lot of great scores and I'm proud of the whole entire time for getting out there and rallying and not saying it's over or giving up until we were done (Friday)."

The Gamecocks took the Horsemanship portion of the day, not allowing Delaware State a single point, 4-0. Thiel kicked things off for Carolina, topping Elizabeth Lynch, 76-72.5, on Jazz. Following, senior Quinn Brandt notched a, 73-72, victory over Kelsey McArthur on Tulip. Winning the third point for Carolina in the event, freshman Sloane Vogt rode to a, 71-69.5, victory on Reggie opposite of Shelbe Jarrett. Bringing Carolina's total to four, Gute defeated Blayne Bell, 71-69.5, on Peaches. Closing out the event, freshman Mackenzie Matthews and Samantha Elliott tied, 73.5-73.5, on Amos.

In Equitation Over Fences, Lyman was the first rider out, winning her point by 11, 80-69, against Eva Epstein on Redford. Getting the second point for the Gamecocks, Brayman topped Zoe Kirsch on Batman, 79-75.

South Carolina started the second half by winning Reining, 4-1. Gute got her second win of the day, downing Angelina Watts, 71.5-70, on Magnum. Thiel also grabbed her second victory after edging by Amber van Segbrook on Nike, 69.5-69. Sophomore McKenzie Duncan added to Carolina's total in Reining, defeating Jarrett, 71-70, on Sparky. Senior Bridgett White tallied a win on Wrangler, 69-67, topping Elliott.

Continuing their strong day, the Gamecocks closed out Senior Day by sweeping Equitation on the Flat, 5-0. Senior Lizzie van der Walde rode to a massive, 84-0, victory on Marquee opposite of Sydney Wicklund. Brayman earned her second win of the day on Kenny, topping Gabrielle Fournier, 84-77. Sophomore Louisa Brackett added to the total with her, 81-72, win over Miranda Adock on Ollie. Competing on Tattoo, junior Madison Sellman defeated Kirsch, 83-75. Scoring the final point of the day, Lyman earned a, 85-82, victory over Erin Gordon on Volan.

"They never let up and they rode very well and very hard," Major said. "I'm very excited. I think that leaves us on a good note. Once they come back from spring break, I think we're in a good spot to get ready for the SEC Championship at Texas A&M."

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