AUBURN, Ala. – The No. 3 Auburn equestrian team handed No. 1 Georgia its second-straight loss Friday at the Auburn University Horse Center, defeating the Bulldogs, 13-7, to finish the fall portion of the season. The Tigers improved to 3-1 (2-1 SEC), while Georgia fell to 2-2 (1-2 SEC).
“It was just a really solid performance,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. “Our horsemanship riders came out and rode really hard. They didn’t pick up the win in horsemanship, but they were solid rides. We won both events in Hunt Seat, the fences and flat, and I couldn’t be happier with the way they did that.”
Following the first half of the meet, the score was tied, 5-5, after Auburn won equitation over fences, 3-2, but fell, 3-2, in horsemanship. Williams added that it was good to see his riders close out the meet successfully, especially in reining. The Tigers defeated Georgia, 4-1, in both reining as well as equitation on the flat in the second half of the meet.
“The reiners came out and just poured it on,” Williams said. “Every one of them went for the win. They knew they were going to score points. They couldn’t depend on what was going on in the hunt seat arena. I think our reiners just put it on their backs and decided they were going to pull in the whole win.”
In equitation over fences, Auburn earned points from Elizabeth Benson, Christina Lin and Jennifer Waxman. Benson defeated Abby O’Mara, 86-65, Lin defeated Megan Southam, 85-80, and Waxman defeated Kylee Arbuckle, 83-80.
In equitation on the flat, Lindsay Portela defeated Abby O’Mara, 84-0, Jennifer Delman defeated Caitlyn Francis, 75-72, Elizabeth Benson defeated Kylee Arbuckle, 88-80, and Christina Lin defeated Grace Rogers, 87-84.
Auburn’s two points in horsemanship came behind strong rides from Stephanie Rucci and Griffin Knight, as Rucci defeated Sara Parr, 73-69.5, and Knight defeated Paige Stawicki, 72-67.5.
In reining, Stephanie Rucci defeated Caroline Blackshear, 69-68.5, Hailey Munger defeated Lauren Tieche, 64.5-59, Katsy Leeman defeated Becca Halaand, 66.5-66, and Indy Roper picked up her fourth Most Outstanding Player award this season and her third in reining, as she defeated Sami Belcher, 68-65.
The equestrian season will resume in February when the Tigers travel to Fresno, Calif., for a tri-meet with Fresno State and Kansas State, Feb. 1-2.