The No. 1 Georgia equestrian team defeated No. 8 South Carolina, 14-6, on Friday afternoon at the UGA Equestrian Complex to improve to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in the SEC.
Four Georgia riders earned Most Outstanding Performance (MOP) honors for their rides. Sophomore Grace Bridges earned the first MOP honor of her career after scoring a 90 in Equitation on the Flat. Fellow sophomore, Maddy Darst, rode to an event-high score of 90 to earn the honor in Equitation Over Fences. Graysen Stroud took home MOP honors for her ride in Horsemanship, while Annabeth Payne claimed the honors for Reining.
“It was a strong performance today,” Georgia head coach Meghan Boenig said. “We saw the elimination of a lot of errors and very confident rides. As always, there are things we will continue to work on. South Carolina is a very good team and they really helped us to continue to step up. We are looking forward to the next step in our journey.”
South Carolina edged Georgia, 3-2, in Equitation Over Fences. Sophomore Sydney Hutchins put the Bulldogs on the board after scoring an 87 to top Lizzie van der Walde’s 80. In the anchor position, sophomore Maddy Darst rode to a flawless score of 90 to defeat Madison Sellman’s score of 81.5.
Bailey Anderson topped Paige Stopperich, 76-72, to earn the first point of the event for the Bulldogs. Madison Anger and Sammie Johnson followed suit earning the next two points for Georgia with scores of 73.5 and 76, respectively. The Gamecocks claimed a point before the Bulldogs closed out the event with a MOP-earning ride from junior Graysen Stroud who defeated Quinn Brandt, 77-74.5.
After two events, the Bulldogs held a 6-4 advantage over the Gamecocks.
Georgia swept South Carolina in Equitation on the Flat, adding five points with impressively high scores of 88 or above. Junior Madison Newman led off with an 89 before senior captain Addyson Cord scored an 88. Sophomore Grace Bridges rode to a career-high score of 90 over South Carolina’s Raleigh Bacharach’s 85. Sydney Hutchins topped her opponent, 88-85. In the anchor position once again, Maddy Darst matched her score from earlier in the day riding to a poised 90-82 defeat of Madison Brayman.
With the Gamecocks unable to catch the Bulldogs, Georgia rode to a 3-2 advantage in Reining. Annabeth Payne began competition with a MOP worthy ride of 69 to take her point. Graysen Stroud and Kyndall Harper both earned points for the Bulldogs with scores of 69 and 68.5, respectively, to close out the competition.
CLICK HERE for the full score sheet from the Georgia-South Carolina equestrian meet.
Georgia will face its third and final SEC opponent for the fall portion of its schedule on Friday, November 10 as the Bulldogs travel to Auburn to face the third-ranked Tigers.