FRESNO, Calif. – The No. 3 University of Georgia equestrian team opened its spring schedule with a 12-4 win over Fresno State on Saturday afternoon in Fresno, Calif., to improve to 4-3 on the season. Highlighting the competition were MOP honors by Carly Anthony (Equitation Over Fences), Maria Salazar (Horsemanship) and McKenzie Lantz (Reining).
“We started off in a big way, with our exhibition riders really setting the tone with high scores and we were able to maintain that edge,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “I am really proud of the riders for coming out after a great week of practice with a lot of energy. They really showed up for the judges today. This was a great competition against a talented Fresno State team and it was a great way to start the spring portion of our schedule. I think we are where we need to be and are looking forward to the meet next weekend against South Carolina.”
Georgia got off to a quick start by sweeping Fresno State 4-0 in Equitation Over Fences. Abby O’Mara got things started with a 75-69 win over Belle Calkin before Kylee Arbuckle secured an 83-65 win over Dayle Fischer to put Georgia up 2-0. Olivia Dorey gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead with a win over Kimberly Hewson Budnik. Anthony wrapped up the event with her MOP-winning 88-40 win over Hillary West.
Holding a 4-0 lead in the competition, Georgia rode to a 3-1 win in Horsemanship, highlighted by Salazar’s MOP-winning performance. Paige Stawicki put the Bulldogs up 1-0 with her 75.5-72 win over Shauna Woodward. Salazar followed with a 77-70.5 win over Christa Beezley for MOP honors. Megan Hawkins handed Lauren Crivelli a 76.5-75 loss that put Georgia up 3-0 in Horsemanship and 7-0 overall. Kirsten McKillop secured FSU’s first point of the day with her 75.5-72 win that brought the overall score to 7-1.
Georgia fell behind 2-0 in Equitation on the Flat before Anthony and Grace Rogers recorded the final two points of the event for the Bulldogs to even the score. Macy Wilson and Lanie Madrazo scored winning rides for Fresno State before Anthony answered with a 78-77 win over West that brought the event score to 2-1. The Bulldogs used Rogers’ 78-76 win over Hewson Budnik to even the score in Equitation on the Flat 2-2 and take a 9-3 overall lead.
The Bulldogs took an early 2-0 lead in Reining to extend its overall lead to 11-3 with wins by Sami Belcher and Lauren Tieche. Belcher opened competition with a 72-69 win over McKillop before Tieche rode to a 72-69 win over Sydney Coletti. Crivelli scored Fresno State’s first point in Reining with her 74-72 win. Lantz wrapped up competition with her 71-70.5, MOP-earning win over Ciara Kozlowski that secured Georgia’s 3-1 win in Reining and 12-4 meet win.
Also seeing time in the ring for the Bulldogs were Audrey Gallagher, Sarah Milliren, Sara Parr and Michelina Carbone, all of who rode in exhibition.
The Bulldogs return to Southeastern Conference action next Saturday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m., when they take on No. 1 South Carolina in Blythewood, S.C.