The seventh-ranked Georgia equestrian team knocked the Tigers out of their saddle, upsetting No.3 Auburn on Saturday afternoon 10-8.
For the sixth time in program history, Georgia swept Auburn in regular season competition. Earlier this season, on Nov. 11, 2016, the Bulldogs defeated the Tigers, 11-7, at home in Bishop. With the win, Georgia improves to 7-4 on the season including a 3-2 mark in the Southeastern Conference. Auburn falls to 4-3, 2-2 in the SEC.
Georgia also swept Most Outstanding Performance (MOP) honors with Bailey Anderson (Horsemanship), Liza Finsness (Equitation Over Fences), Meg O’Mara (Equitation on the Flat), and Claudia Spreng (Reining) being recognized for their rides. Additionally, O’Mara remains undefeated in Equitation on the Flat with a perfect 11-0 record.
“It was a very exciting day,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “Auburn is always a great competitor. We saw some fantastic rides and had to ride through some difficult moments. Our team rode to the occasion. We’re still finding ways to push it, either on a difficult horse or under a pressure situation. Finding the repeatability for postseason, both the SEC Championship and nationals, is incredible.”
Georgia fell behind early with the Tigers edging the Bulldogs, 3-2, in Equitation Over Fences. O’Mara rode to a score of 80, defeating Caitlin Boyle’s 56, to earn the first point of the day for Georgia. In the anchor position for the Bulldogs, Finsness scored an event-high 88 to better Hayley Iannotti’s 79. Her score of 88 ties her season-high and earned her MOP honors.
Georgia and Auburn split points in Horsemanship, 2-2. Bailey Anderson claimed the first point and MOP honors for the Bulldogs, defeating Auburn’s Megan Rauh, 72-69.5. Georgia sophomore Madison Anger and Auburn’s Hannah Stephens both rode to an event-high score of 73 to push the point. Graysen Stroud defeated Kelsey Jung of Auburn, 71-63.
Auburn held a slight 5-4 advantage over Georgia at the break.
Georgia started the comeback in Equitation on the Flat, claiming three points. O’Mara led off with an event-high and MOP-earning score of 92 over Ashton Alexander’s 88. Junior Addyson Cord edged her opponent, 69-67, before freshman Sydney Hutchins topped Auburn’s Ashely Foster, 76-72.
Georgia rode away with the victory in Reining, only giving up one point to Auburn. Kyndall Harper defeated her opponent, 68-66.5. Spreng earned MOP honors for her 69.5-67.5 defeat of Ali Fratessa, before Stroud rode to a tie against Auburn’s Blair McFarlin with a score of 72.5. Georgia held a 9-8 advantage over Auburn before Charley Thiel clinched the victory with a 71.5-70 win over Kara Kaufmann.
Georgia has off next week before the Bulldogs welcome the Aggies of Texas A&M to the UGA Equestrian Complex on Feb. 25 for Senior Day. Competition is slated to begin at 10 a.m. and admission is free.
CLICK HERE for the Georgia versus Auburn equestrian meet score sheet.