[su_spacer size=”20″] The Georgia equestrian team concluded the 2015 NCEA National Championship as reserve champion Saturday evening at the Extraco Event Center in Waco, Texas. In the championship round of competition, Georgia fell to South Carolina 10-6. The Georgia equestrian team has never finished lower than second overall in program history. The South Carolina victory marks another Southeastern Conference NCEA champion; the title has never been won by a non-SEC school.
The Bulldogs and the Gamecocks rode to a 2-2 tie in Equitation on the Flat. Kylee Arbuckle secured the first point with a 177-170 decision over Samantha Smith. Amber Henter and Adele Norton picked up the next two points for South Carolina. Meg O’Mara evened the score, defeating Katherine Schmidt 195-189.
The two teams also rode to a two-point draw in Horsemanship. Abigail Pait and Samantha Chiodo picked up the first two points for South Carolina. Sara Parr used a 149.5 to defeat Megan Overberg’s score of 132.5. Paige Stawicki knotted the scored with a 149.5-146.5 victory.
Georgia dropped a 3-1 decision to Auburn in Equitation Over Fences. The Gamecocks were able to grab the first two points of the event. The lone point for the Bulldogs came from Leylan Gleeson who outscored Schmidt 177-157. In the final ride of the event, Sydney Smith earned a 147-132 victory. With one event left, Georgia trailed South Carolina 7-5.
In Reining, the Gamecocks edged the Bulldogs 3-1. Charley Thiel grabbed the first point of the event, defeating Paisley Roberts 128.5-122.5. South Carolina earned the final three points with winning rides from Layla Choate, Cody McMillion and Sarah Bouchard.
Three Georgia riders earned NCEA Championship awards for their performances over the weekend. Sara Parr was named as the Most Valuable Player in Horsemanship and Meg O’Mara earned Most Valuable Player in Equitation on the Flat. Parr (Horsemanship), O’Mara (Equitation on the Flat) and Paige Stawicki (Horsemanship) earned sports on the NCEA All-Championship team.