ALL FOUR SEC EQUESTRIAN PROGRAMS IN ACTION
Weekly Release in PDF Format
Each of the four equestrian programs of the Southeastern Conference are in action this weekend as the season inches closer to the inaugural SEC Championship March 29-30 in Auburn, Ala.
A pair of conference competitions highlight Saturday’s schedule as No. 2 Auburn travels to Bishop, Ga., to take on No. 1 Georgia at 10 a.m. ET and No. 5 South Carolina plays host to No. 6 Texas A&M at 1 p.m. ET in Blythewood, S.C.
Auburn will take on Delaware State later on Saturday, while the Bulldogs will compete against Delaware State at 10 a.m. ET Sunday.
The four equestrian programs of the Southeastern Conference all are ranked among the nation’s top-10, including three in the top five, according to the latest coaches poll of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association, which was announced Wednesday.
Georgia maintained its No. 1 ranking in the latest NCEA coaches poll, while Auburn is just one point behind at No. 2. The Tigers are now 6-1 overall on the season following a win against South Carolina last week, while the Bulldogs are 5-3 overall and were idle last week. South Carolina, which is 4-4 overall, is down one spot to No. 5 this week following a close loss at Auburn last Thursday. Texas A&M, also 4-4 on the year, remains tied for sixth.
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 (79)
2. Auburn (78)
3. Oklahoma State (77)
4. Kansas State (54)
5. South Carolina (51)
T6. Baylor (39)
T6. Texas A&M (39)
8. TCU (34)
9. SMU (19)
T10. New Mexico State (9)
T10. South Dakota State (9)
The Auburn equestrian team remains undefeated this spring after defeating South Carolina, 10-9, in the Tigers' final home meet of the regular season on Feb. 14. Auburn looks to continue its winning streak as it begins a tough series of competitions on the road, beginning at Georgia with Delaware State Saturday, Feb. 23, followed by a weekend in Texas with three top-10 meets at Texas A&M, Baylor and TCU March 1-3. Auburn continues preparations to host the inaugural SEC Equestrian Championship, March 29-30, at the Auburn University Horse Center.
The University of Georgia equestrian team extended its three-meet win streak Feb. 2 when it rode to an 11-8 win over then-No. 1 South Carolina. With the win, the Bulldogs improve to 5-3 on the season and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference action. Highlighting the win were Grace Rogers (Equitation on the Flat), Leylan Gleeson (Equitation Over Fences) and Becca Haaland (Reining) each being named the MOP in their respective event. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks rode to a 2-2 tie in Reining, before Georgia earned a decisive 4-1 win in Equitation Over Fences to take a 6-3 overall lead. South Carolina won the Horsemanship competition 3-2, but a strong showing by the Bulldogs in Equitation on the Flat earned Georgia a 3-2 win in the event and sealed the 11-8 win. Georgia will be back in action Saturday, Feb. 23 when it welcomes SEC rival Auburn to the first home meet of the spring schedule UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga. The meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Georgia will host Delaware State the following day, Sunday, Feb. 24 at 10 a.m.
The Gamecocks are currently 4-4 overall and 3-2 in conference action... South Carolina hosts Texas A&M on Saturday, as the Gamecocks will hold their annual Equi-Fest Kids Day during the meet... Saturday's meet marks Texas A&M's first visit to Blythewood since Jan. 31, 2009, when the Gamecocks defeated the Aggies, 13-7... The two teams last met in the fall on Nov. 16 in Bryan, Texas, when the Gamecocks picked up the 11-8 win... The Gamecocks have lost four meets in a row since then, two of which have come to SEC foes Georgia (Feb. 2) and Auburn (Feb. 14)... Senior Kimberly McCormack and sophomore Katherine Schmidt both lead the team in wins with eight each... Sophmore Sam Chiodo leads the Western team with a 6-1 overall record... Redshirt junior Johnna Letchworth picked up her second MVP of the season against Auburn, scoring a career-high 80.5 to win her point... McCormack scored a 94 in Equitation Over Fences at Auburn on Feb. 14, the highest SEC jumping score of the year... In making her Gamecock debut against the Tigers, reshman reiner Sarah Bouchard scored the SEC's second-highest reining score of the season (75), just behind her Auburn opponent who beat her (77).
The Texas A&M equestrian team fell, 8-16, at Oklahoma State, Saturday, Feb. 2 at the Animal Science Arena. The Aggies are now 4-4 on the season (0-3 SEC), while the Cowgirls improve to 6-3 (2-1 Big 12). In horsemanship, OSU eked out a 4-2 win and led the meet, 8-4. Carey Nowacek and Caroline Ammons each had victories for the Aggies. After a reining win by A&M’s Laura Sumrall, OSU earned its ninth victory of the day, guaranteeing a Cowgirl win on the meet. Shelby St. Hilaire rode to a second reining win for the Aggies. Equitation on the flat was the final event of the day, resulting in a 4-2 win for the Cowgirls and a 16-8 overall victory for OSU. Aggie freshman Hannah Williams had her second victory of the day, with a 71-65 win over OSU’s Allie Joyce. Marlena Parker also had a win for A&M.