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    SEC Equestrian Weekly Release: October 3

    AUBURN AND SOUTH CAROLINA MEET THIS WEEK

    Weekly Release in PDF Format

    The upcoming week of Southeastern Conference equestrian features a light schedule, but the highlight includes the first-ever SEC competitions for Auburn and South Carolina, who are set to square off at 2 p.m. ET on Thursday.

    Georgia won the first-ever comeptition between two SEC teams, defeating Texas A&M 17-5 last Sunday. The two teams had been tied for the nation’s top spot before the Bulldogs claimed it outright in this week’s coaches poll.

    Each of the four teams of the SEC continue to hold the top-four spots in the latest coaches poll, released on Wednesday. South Carolina moved up two spots in this week’s poll following a season-opening victory against Oklahoma State, which currently is ranked sixth. Auburn retains its No. 3 spot in this week’s rankings also following a win against the Cowgirls. The Aggies, who defeated South Dakota State in the first week of the season before falling to Georgia on Sunday, drop to No. 4 in the latest poll.

    Georgia and Texas A&M are off from competition this week before returning to action in a week. On Oct. 12, Georgia travels to Baylor, while Texas A&M and Auburn meet on the Plains on Oct. 13.

    SEC EQUESTRIAN QUICK NOTES

    • At the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, Fla., this past June, the decision was made for equestrian to become the conference’s 21st sport and the first to be added to the league since softball in 1997.
    • Legislative action, which took place during the SEC Spring Meetings in Destin, was necessary to allow for the addition of equestrian. Previously, one-third of league institutions would need to sponsor a sport in order for the conference to hold a championship event in that sport. With 12 members, that number was previous four institutions. With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, the new legislation will allow that number to remain at four for the sponsoring of new sports.
    • Four members of the SEC - Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M - currently sponsor equestrian. The four current members of the SEC are the only teams in the history of the sport to win NCEA Overall Team National Championships.
    • Georgia has tallied a league-leading five overall national championships, including three consecutive from 2008-10. Auburn, South Carolina and Texas A&M each have two overall national titles to their credit.
    • Auburn University has been selected to play host to the inaugural Southeastern Conference equestrian championship. The event will take place March 29-30, 2013 at the Auburn University Horse Center.
    • Texas A&M is the defending NCEA overall team national champion and has won four consecutive NCEA western championships.
    • The three schools of the formerly 12-member SEC have been contesting a yearly Southern Equestrian Championship since 2003, which in 2012-13 will be replaced by the first-ever SEC Championship, involving all four schools.
    • The Southern Equestrian Championships were held on campus sites on a rotating basis. Georgia won a league-leading six Southern Equestrian Championship titles, while Auburn captured three and South Carolina one.

    LATEST EQUESTRIAN COACHES POLL
    1. Georgia (108)
    2. South Carolina (83)
    3. Auburn (82)
    4. Texas A&M (81)

    5. Baylor (64)
    6. Oklahoma State (62)
    7. Kansas State (41)
    8. Texas Christian (36)
    9. New Mexico State (14)
    10. Southern Methodist (13)

    TEAM NOTES

    AUBURN

    No. 3 Auburn Equestrian started off the season with a 10-9 win over No. 5 Oklahoma State on Saturday, Sept. 29. The Tigers picked up three of the meet's four MVP awards and earned high marks all around. Freshman Elizabeth Benson earned one of Auburn's MVP awards in equitation on the flat as she led the Tigers with a score of 97 in her first collegiate competition. Auburn travels to Blythewood, S.C., on Thursday for its first conference matchup of the season against No. 2 South Carolina.

    GEORGIA

    The University of Georgia equestrian team proved why it was ranked No. 1 in the nation with its 17-5 win over Texas A&M, which was also ranked No. 1, in the first-ever Southeastern Conference equestrian meet. The Bulldogs grabbed its first win of the season to move to 1-0, and improved to 9-1 in season openers, while the Aggies dropped to 1-1 on the year. Georgia riders proved strong in both the Hunt Seat and Western disciplines, outscoring Texas A&M 11-1 on the Hunt Seat side and 6-4 in the Western discipline. Caitlyn Francis earned MVP honors with her score of 97 in Equitation on the Flat. Georgia dominated in Equitation Over Fences, defeating the Aggies 5-1. The Bulldogs followed the performance in Equitation Over Fences with a 2-2 tie in Horsemanship. Georgia swept the field in Equitation on the Flat 6-0 before winning 4-2 in Reining. Georgia will be back in action on Oct. 12 when it travels to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears.

    SOUTH CAROLINA

    The Gamecocks are 1-0 this season after defeating then-No. 5 Oklahoma State, 13-7 on Sept. 29… Since the 2005-2006 season, South Carolina is 7-1 in season openers… Senior Kimberly McCormack went 2-for-2 against the Cowgirls in Saturday's season opener, winning both of her rides in Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat… McCormack was named Most Outstanding Player in Equitation on the Flat, registering an event-high score of 84… Sophomore Katherine Schmidt also went 2-for-2 in Hunt Seat action… The Gamecock jumpers pulled off a 5-0 sweep in Saturday's win against Oklahoma State, led by freshman Sally Henry, who scored an event-high 88 in her first collegiate ride, earning her Most Outstanding Player honors… On the Western side, the Gamecocks dropped a 5-5 tiebreaker to Oklahoma State… Junior Katie Kopf defeated her opponent, 79-76.5, as her 79 is the highest score by a Gamecock horsemanship rider in at least four years… South Carolina's reining team won 3-of-5 points over the Cowgirls Saturday, as senior Audrey Jewell and sophomore Layla Choate and Cody McMillion all won their rides… The Gamecocks host Auburn on Thursday in what will be the first ever head-to-head SEC meet for both schools… The Gamecocks went 2-1 against Auburn in dual meets last season and picked up a Western win over the Tigers at last year's NCEA National Championships… The Gamecocks have not beaten Auburn in a fall meet since 2009… The last two fall meetings have been 10-10 meets, with Auburn clinching both in the raw score tiebreaker… Thursday's meet is South Carolina's final home meet of the fall, as the Gamecocks will compete on the road four times during the month of November.

    TEXAS A&M

    The Aggies dropped a 5-17 decision at co-No. 1 school Georgia during the first-ever SEC equestrian event. Despite the loss, top-ranked A&M took three of four MOP awards in fences, horsemanship and reining. The Aggies (1-1, 0-1 SEC) travel to Auburn next, on Saturday, October 13.