BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The four equestrian programs of the Southeastern Conference begin competition at the National Collegiate Equestrian Association Championships this Thursday through Saturday at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. Action commences at 9 a.m. CT each day.
Live Results | Live Video | Hunter Seat Bracket | Western Bracket
The four current members of the SEC are the only teams in the history of the sport to win NCEA Overall Team National Championships. Texas A&M is the defending NCEA Overall Team National Champion.
South Carolina claimed the inaugural SEC Equestrian Championship March 30 in Auburn, Ala. The Gamecocks are currently the nation’s No. 1 team. Each of the four equestrian programs of the SEC are ranked among the nation’s top eight, including three in the top-five. SEC Championship third-place finisher Georgia currently ranks third, while SEC Championship runner-up Auburn is fourth. Texas A&M is ranked eighth.
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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.
• Texas A&M is the defending NCEA overall team national champion and has won four consecutive NCEA western championships.
• South Carolina won the inaugural SEC Equestrian Championship, which was contested March 29-30 at Auburn University.
The fourth-ranked Auburn equestrian team enters the 2013 NCEA National Championships at 11-3 on the season coming off a second-place finish at the 2013 SEC Equestrian Championship. The Tigers defeated Texas A&M in the opening round, but fell 10-8 to South Carolina in the championship. Auburn's No. 4 seed Hunt Seat team received a first round bye for nationals and will face the winner of No. 5 seed TCU vs. No. 12 seed South Dakota State in the second round. The No. 9 seed Western team will face No. 8 seed Baylor in the opening round. The Tigers have written an extensive resume of accomplishments in the last month. Nine riders were named to the 2013 All-SEC Equestrian teams, including three freshmen named Riders of the Year, while senior Hunt Seat rider Coryn Bergenty was named to the SEC Community Service team. Five riders were named NCEA All-Americans, and 17 riders were named to the NCEA Academic Honor Roll. Senior Western rider Indy Roper was also awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for her outstanding work in and out of the classroom.
The University of Georgia equestrian team looks for its sixth national championship when it travels to Waco, Texas for the NCEA Championship this week. Georgia enters the week with an overall record of 9-5 and is coming off a 15-5 win over Texas A&M and a third-place finish at the inaugural SEC Championship. The Bulldogs boast a bevy of talented riders as Carly Anthony (Equitation on the Flat) and McKenzie Lantz (Reining) were each named the SEC Rider of the Year in their respective disciplines. The Bulldogs also had 11 All-SEC members and four riders earn five NCEA All-American honors. Georgia is the winner of the Reserve Championship in each of the past two years and own five championships, the most of any school competing in the NCEA. The last NCEA title came in 2010. Georgia's Hunt Seat team is the No. 3 seed and will take on the winner of the SMU vs. New Mexico State competition. The Bulldog Western squad is also the No. 3 seed and will face the winner of the Texas A&M vs. Fresno State matchup.
South Carolina enters the 2013 NCEA National Championships as the No. 1 ranked team in the country... The Gamecocks earned the No. 2 seed in the Hunt Seat bracket with a 9-5 record, and South Carolina will face the winner of the Oklahoma State (7)/Texas A&M (10) opening round meet... The Western team earned the fifth seed with a record of 8-5, and the Gamecocks will face No. 12 seed New Mexico State on Thursday morning, with the winner advancing to face No. 4 seed TCU on Thursday afternoon... Last year at Nationals, South Carolina's Western team finished 4th while the Hunt Seat team finished 5th... South Carolina head coach Boo Major was voted SEC Coach of the year... Senior Kimberly McCormack was voted SEC Rider of the Year in Equitation Over Fences and was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year... Redshirt junior Johnna Letchworth was voted SEC Rider of the Year in Horsemanship... Redshirt freshman Samantha Smith was named SEC Freshman Rider of the Year in Equitation on the Flat and freshman Kelsey Urban was named SEC Co-Freshman Rider of the Year in Horsemanship... South Carolina placed six riders on the 2013 All-SEC Equestrian Team and four on the 2013 SEC-All Freshman Equestrian Team.
The Aggie equestrian team finished the regular season at 5-6 overall and 1-5 in Southeastern Conference action in its first season in the SEC. The team suffered a pair of losses in the inaugural SEC Championships, but earned berths into the NCEA Championships, April 18-20 in Waco. The sixth-seeded A&M western squad will face No. 11 seed Fresno State in the first round of the national meet, while the No. 10 seed hunter seat team will ride against No. 7 Oklahoma State. The Aggies are the defending national champions in both western and overall, and look to secure a program 12th national title. Last season, the hunt seat squad battled from a No. 7 national seeding, upsetting No. 2 South Carolina and No. 3 Georgia, to advance to the championship round. A&M became the first school in NCEA history to have both disciplines in the final round. A&M has already reaped some major awards this season. The team placed 18 student-athletes on NCEA Academic All-American teams, including Amanda Brightwell, Kori Pickett and Laura Sumrall, who were first-team selections. In addition, 12 riders took spots on the NCEA Honor Roll. Sophomore Molli Jacobs became an All-American this season as she was tabbed Honorable Mention by the NCEA. On the conference front, senior Amanda Brightwell represented A&M on the Southeastern Conference Community Service team, and sophomore Laura Sumrall was named All-SEC. In addition, a league-best five Aggie freshmen (Hannah Jechow, Ryann McKinzie, Marlena Parker, Logan Pluhar and Hannah Williams) were honored on the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Yearly NCEA Overall Team National Champions
2002: Texas A&M
2005: South Carolina
2007: South Carolina
2012: Texas A&M
Yearly NCEA Hunter Seat National Champions
2005: South Carolina
2006: South Carolina
2007: South Carolina
Yearly NCEA Western National Champions
2002: Texas A&M
2003: Oklahoma State
2004: Oklahoma State
2005: Texas A&M
2006: Oklahoma State
2007: Texas A&M
2009: Texas A&M
2010: Texas A&M
2011: Texas A&M
2012: Texas A&M
NCEA Equestrian Coaches Poll (April 3, 2013)
1. South Carolina (71)
2. Oklahoma State (70)
3. Georgia (65)
4. Auburn (63)
5. Kansas State (46)
6. Baylor (40)
7. Texas Christian (31)
8. Texas A&M (26)
9. Southern Methodist (11)
T-10. South Dakota State (7)
T-10. UT Martin (7)
Also Receiving Votes: New Mexico State (3).