The No. 3 University of Georgia equestrian team fell to the No. 4 Auburn Tigers in a ride-off for the National Collegiate Equestrian Association National Championship on Saturday, April 20 at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. The Bulldogs also faced Auburn for the Hunt Seat National Championship and fell 4-3 before falling in the ride-off, 3-1.
The Bulldogs finished second in the NCEA National Championship for the third consecutive year. Additionally, Georgia’s horse Riant was named the Most Valuable Horse in Equitation Over Fences for the 2013 NCEA National Championship.
“Today certainly isn’t how we wanted to finish out the season, but I can’t think of a greater group to be around,” said head coach Meghan Boenig. “These ladies tried their hardest on every single step. There were some little things that didn’t go our way, but there is so much to be proud of. There are so many incredible things that this team has done and will continue to do. We look to a bright future and these Georgia Bulldogs make me proud.”
The Bulldogs rode to a 2-2 tie in Equitation on the Flat, but fell to Auburn 2-1 in Equitation Over Fences as Auburn picked up the Hunt Seat national title. In Equitation on the Flat, Grace Rogers started things off with a 186-169 win over Hasbrock Donovan. Carly Anthony won her point 182-155 over Christina Lin to put Georgia up 2-0. Lindsay Portela defeated Kylee Arbuckle 177-171 as Auburn took their first point of the event. The Tigers finished Equitation on the Flat when Elizabeth Benson defeated Caitlyn Francis 189-173 and knotted the score at 2-2.
Georgia started strong in Equitation Over Fences when Anthony won her point 189-162 over Christina Lin. Abby O’Mara followed with a 170-170 tie with Quincy Hayes and neither team took the point. Auburn took the final two points to win the English national title as Jennifer Waxman defeated Sarah Milliren 176-158 and Elizabeth Benson outrode Olivia Dorey 194-139.
Auburn’s win in the Hunt Seat tied Georgia and Auburn for the lead in the overall national title standings. The ride-off for the national title featured one rider per discipline per school. Anthony rode for the Bulldogs in Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences. Stawicki represented Georgia in Horsemanship and Lantz rode in Reining.
Auburn took the first point in the ride-off as Benson defeated Anthony 194-188 in Equitation on the Flat. Georgia knotted the ride-off score at 1-1 when Stawicki defeated Griffin Knight 144.5-138 in Horsemanship. The Tigers pulled ahead 2-1 after Benson (170) defeated Anthony (110) in Equitation Over Fences. Auburn sealed its win as Cheyenne Cracraft defeated Lantz 143.5-138.5 in Reining.