SEC EQUESTRIAN TEAMS CONCLUDE FALL SLATES
Weekly Release in PDF Format
The equestrian programs of the Southeastern Conference conclude their fall slates this weekend with a plethora of competitions across the country. The highlight of this week’s schedule includes top-ranked South Carolina traveling to face No. 4 Texas A&M in Bryan, Texas, on Friday.
In other SEC action this week, Georgia travels to Brookings, S.D., to face host South Dakota State and No. 9 New Mexico State on Friday and Saturday. South Carolina travels to No. 8 Baylor on Saturday and then wraps up its fall schedule on Sunday by traveling to No. 10 SMU.
The four SEC equestrian programs remain the top-four teams in the nation, according to the latest NCEA Coaches Poll, which was released on Wednesday. The Gamecocks are ranked No. 1 nationally for the first time since 2009, while Auburn checks in at No. 2. Georgia is the nation’s third-ranked squad, while Texas A&M is No. 4 in the latest poll.
Following this weekend’s competitions, the four programs of the SEC will break from competition until late January. The 2013 SEC Equestrian Championships are slated for March 29-30, 2013 in Auburn, Ala.
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. South Carolina (99)
2. Auburn (88)
3. Georgia (77)
4. Texas A&M (68)
5. Kansas State (59)
6. Oklahoma State (49)
7. Texas Christian (38)
8. Baylor (31)
9. New Mexico State (11)
10. Southern Methodist (8)
The Auburn equestrian team closed out the fall portion of the 2012-13 season with a 13-7 win over top-ranked Georgia on Friday, Nov. 9. The Tigers sit at 3-1 (2-1 SEC) over the winter break. Auburn's riders posted high marks during the first half of the season and collected 10 Most Outstanding Player awards in their first four meets. Senior Lindsay Portela is 4-0 in equitation on the flat, averaging an 81.25 with one MOP award. In equitation over fences, junior Jennifer Waxman is 4-0 with an 86 average and two MOP awards. In the western arena, senior Indy Roper dominated the fall season at 2-1-1 in horsemanship with one MOP award and 4-0 in reining with three MOP awards. She was also named the SEC's Rider of the Month for October in both horsemanship and reining. The Tigers' freshmen have also made a strong impact in their first four meets. Hunt seat rider Elizabeth Benson is 4-0 with two wins each in equitation on the flat and over fences. Benson is averaging a 92.5 on the flat and an 86 in over fences. Western riders Griffin Knight and Hailey Munger have earned valuable experience in the western arena. While Knight and Munger have one win in horsemanship and reining, respectively, Knight's 73.67 average is fourth-highest on the team in horsemanship, and Munger's 67.125 is third-highest in reining. Auburn returns to action Feb. 1-2, 2013, as it travels to Fresno, Calif., for a tri-meet with Fresno State and Kansas State.
The No. 3 University of Georgia equestrian team dropped a 13-7 decision to the then-No. 3 Auburn Tigers on Friday afternoon in Auburn, Ala. The Bulldogs are now 2-2 on the year and 1-2 in the SEC, while Auburn moves to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in SEC action. The Hunt Seat team fell 7-3, while the Western squad rode to a 5-5 tie. Highlighting the meet was Carly Anthony, who scored in the 90s and earned MOP honors in both Hunt Seat events. Anthony posted a 93 in Equitation Over Fences and a 92 in Equitation on the Flat, earning MOP honors in both. Maria Salazar also earned MOP honors, finishing with a meet-best score of 76 in Horsemanship. Georgia returns to action next weekend when it travels to Brookings, S.D., to take on South Dakota State and New Mexico State. Georgia's Hunt Seat team will face South Dakota State on Friday, with the Western squad taking on SDSU on Saturday. Georgia will face New Mexico State on Saturday.
No. 1 South Carolina is off to a 3-0 start this season, its best start since at least the 2005-2006 season… The Gamecocks upset then-No. 1 Georgia, 11-8, on Nov. 2 at the UGA Equestrian Complex… The win over the Bulldogs marked South Carolina's second straight victory over Georgia at the UGA Equestrian Complex, as the Gamecocks previously defeated Georgia on March 31 to win the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship… This year marks the first time South Carolina has started a season 3-0 in the dual meet era… Team captains Audrey Jewell and Amber Henter are a combined 6-0 for the Gamecocks this season, with each rider boasting a 3-0 individual record… Jewell won her first Most Outstanding Player award of the season in South Carolina's win over Georgia on Nov. 2, her time earning the nod since the 2010-2011 season… Sophomore Layla Choate is also 3-0 for the Gamecocks in reining… Senior Kimberly McCormack and freshman Sally Henry are both tied for the team lead in wins with four apiece… Freshman Kelsey Urban won her first career point in the win over Georgia, and earned her first career Most Outstanding Player award in the process, becoming the first Gamecock freshman to win an M.O.P. at Georgia… South Carolina wraps up fall competition next week when the Gamecocks travel to face Texas A&M (Nov. 16), Baylor (Nov. 17), and a Hunt Seat meet at SMU (Nov. 18).
The Aggies defeated Fresno State and advanced to 4-2 on the season last weekend. SEC Over Fences Rider of the Month Emily Williams improved to 5-0 in 2012 with the win over the Bulldogs and the Aggies once again swept the MOP awards for a total of 15 out of a possible 20 on the season. The team hosts No. 2 South Carolina Friday at the Brazos Valley Expo Center.