ATHENS, Ga. -- The No. 1 University of Georgia equestrian team opened its 2013-2014 season with a 16-3 win over Fresno State (0-3) on Sunday morning in Bishop, Ga. Highlighting the competition were MOP honors by Megan Southam in Equitation Over Fences, Rachel Kolb in Horsemanship, Leylan Gleeson in Equitation on the Flat, and McKenzie Lantz in Reining.
“After such a great football game yesterday, everything around here is electric,” said head coach Meghan Boenig. “I think the riders did a fabulous job today. We saw so many freshmen being very successful. I’m excited about what they have to offer in the future of this program. We lost some seniors so we knew there was going to be some big wholes to fill, but had a lot of riders step up today.”
Georgia jumped to an early lead sweeping Fresno State 5-0 in Equitation Over Fences. Southam began the competition with her MOP-earning ride of 87-30. Kylee Arbuckle was up next with an 85-80 victory, and Abby O’Mara quickly followed with a score 84-81. Sarah Milliren also put up 84 points, defeated her opponent’s score of 79. Olivia Dorey securing the sweep in the event for Georgia with her 83-78.
In Horsemanship, the Bulldogs quickly went up 2-0 with Rachel Kolb’s 75.5-72.5 victory and Sara Parr’s winning score of 72.5-68. In a close competition, Anna Sasser edged out her opponent 74.5-74. Fresno State’s Rio Haack secured the first point for FSU with a 67.5-66 score over Georgia’s Paige Stawicki. Heather Schmidt closed the event for Georgia in her winning ride of 70-66, giving the Bulldogs a 4-1 victory over FSU in Horsemanship.
Up 9-1 at the halfway mark, Georgia took the first point in Equitation on the Flat with a 76-70 win by Liza Finsness. FSU had the winning ride in the second spot as Dayle Fischer outscored Georgia’s Arbuckle 77-75. The Bulldogs turned it around with victories in the final three rides. With her MOP-earning ride, Gleeson turned in a score of 82-65 before Southam narrowly defeated her opponent 66-65. Milliren wrapped up Equitation on the Flat with her 76-73 win, giving Georgia its final point and a 4-1 score in the event.
Lindsey Cheek tied with Fresno State’s Taylor Brown 72.5-72.5 to start off Reining. Charley Thiel’s 70.5-66 win took the first point for Georgia, but FSU responded as Kirsten McKillop put up a 69.5 over Lauren Garmon’s 61 for Georgia. The Bulldogs secured the final two points with Lauren Tieche’s winning score of 72.5 and McKenzie Lantz’s MOP ride of 74-72. Georgia closed out the competition by taking Reining 3-1.
Georgia returns to action on Friday, Oct. 11, when it travels to Blythewood, S.C., to take on Southeastern Conference foe South Carolina in Blythewood, S.C.