THREE SEC TEAMS IN ACTION THIS WEEK
Weekly Release In PDF Format
Three Southeastern Conference equestrian teams are in action this weekend at a pair of meets. No. 1 Georgia travels to No. 5 Baylor at 2 p.m. ET Friday, while No. 3 Auburn plays host to No. 4 Texas A&M at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday.
Last week, South Carolina defeated Auburn 10-9 in the first-ever SEC equestrian competitions for the two schools. The equestrian teams of the SEC hold the top-four spots in the latest coaches poll, released last Wednesday. The next edition of that poll is set to be released on Oct. 17.
On Wednesday, it was announced that South Carolina senior Kimberly McCormack was named NCEA Most Outstanding Hunt Seat Player of the Month. McCormack went 2-0 in the month of September, with both wins coming in the Gamecocks' season opening win over No. 5 Oklahoma State on Sept. 29. McCormack is currently 3-1 this season with one Most Outstanding Performer award.
In other equestrian news from around the SEC, Texas A&M broke ground on a new facility Oct. 9. The Thomas Hildebrand Equine Complex will house the Texas A&M equestrian team among other equine initiative groups on campus and will cost $80 million upon completion. A&M’s equestrian center will be completed in 2014.
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
T1.Texas A&M (82)
4.South Carolina (61)
5.Oklahoma State (57)
7.Kansas State (35)
9.Fresno State (13)
10.New Mexico State (12)
Auburn Equestrian enters its third week of competition at 1-1 (0-1 SEC). After starting the season strong with a 10-9 win over Oklahoma State, the third-ranked Tigers dropped a heartbreaker at South Carolina last Thursday as they fell, 10-9, to the Gamecocks. Auburn hosts new conference opponent Texas A&M on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT at the Auburn University Horse Center. The Tigers look to bounce back strong after last week's loss and will look to Jennifer Waxman and Indy Roper for leadership. Just two meets into her junior season, Waxman is already a consistent competitor in the equitation over fences lineup. Waxman is 2-0-0 through the first two meets and is averaging a score of 89 with two Most Outstanding Player awards. As one of the Tigers' seniors, Roper competes in both horsemanship and reining. She is currently 1-0-1 in horsemanship with one MOP and is averaging a score of 79. In reining, she is 2-0-0, averaging a 72.75 and has claimed two MOPs thus far.
After defeating Texas A&M in its first match of the season, the University of Georgia equestrian team was a near unanimous selection as the nation’s No. 1 team in the latest coaches poll. Georgia used a dominating performance by the Hunt Seat team to defeat the Aggies in the first-ever Southeastern Conference equestrian meet. The Bulldog Hunt Seat squad outscored Texas A&M 11-1, including career-high and MVP-wining score of 97 by Caitlyn Francis in Equitation on the Flat. In addition to Francis’ 97, three other Bulldogs earned scores in the 90’s in Equitation on the Flat. Georgia’s Western team defeated Texas A&M 6-4, including a 4-2 win in Reining. McKenzie Lantz, Samantha Belcher and Lauren Tieche tied for Georgia’s high school, each finishing with a 69.5. Each of Georgia’s Horsemanship riders scored in the 70s, with Megan Hawkins leading the way with a 73.5. After taking last week off, the Georgia equestrian team will travel to Waco, Texas to take on the Baylor Bears on Friday afternoon.
South Carolina is currently 2-0 and ranked second in the country… The Gamecocks picked up a win in their first ever SEC meet on Thursday in a 10-9 decision over No. 3 Auburn… South Carolina has won eight consecutive dual meets dating back to last season, the longest active streak in the country… Freshman Sally Henry improved to 3-0 on the season as she went 2-for-2 against the Tigers, winning points in both Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat… Senior Kimberly McCormack was named NCEA Outstanding Player of the Month for her 2-0 record during the month of September… South Carolina has three reiners that boast perfect 2-0 records - senior Audrey Jewell, and sophomores Layla Choate and Cody McMillion… Sophomore Sam Chiodo is the only Horsemanship rider with a perfect 2-0 record… Redshirt sophomore Amber Henter is 2-0 in Equitation Over Fences… The Gamecocks are off the rest of October, but return to action in November when they close out the fall semester with four consecutive road meets… Next up for South Carolina is a Nov. 2 meet at No. 1 Georgia… Last time South Carolina and Georgia met in Bishop, Ga., the Gamecocks handed the Bulldogs their second home loss in program history to claim the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship.
The Aggies dropped a 5-17 decision at then-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. The Aggies broke ground on a new facility Oct. 9. The Thomas Hildebrand Equine Complex will house the Texas A&M equestrian team among other equine initiative groups on campus and will cost $80 million upon completion. A&M’s equestrian center will be completed in 2014 as part of phase I, which is valued at $35 million.