The No. 2 Georgia equestrian team fell to No. 5 Texas A&M 11-5 in the NCEA National Championship on Saturday at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas.
Georgia ends the 2016-17 campaign with a 13-5 overall record after winning the SEC Championship and riding into the final round of the 2017 National Championship.
Seniors Lindsey Cheek (Reining), Liza Finsness (Equitation Over Fences), and Meg O’Mara (Equitation on the Flat), as well as junior Bailey Anderson (Horsemanship) were named to the NCEA All-Championship Team. Finsness earned Most Outstanding Performance honors for her ride in Equitation Over Fences in the championship round.
“This is certainly not the way we wanted it to go and for that, there’s so much emotion and heart in this team,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “This team is so connected and the senior leadership is incredible. No one wanted to let anyone down and in reality, they didn’t. Every bit of effort was put out there. Yes, mistakes happen and yes, we haven’t been making those. It’s unfortunate that they showed up in the championship round. Texas A&M did a fabulous job and rode really strong. We challenged each other. I’m so proud of this team.”
Georgia fell behind early, dropping a 3-1 decision in Equitation on the Flat. Addyson Cord claimed the lone point for the Bulldogs, defeating Texas A&M’s Maddie Swem, 156-152.
Texas A&M extended its lead in Horsemanship, earning another three points. Bailey Anderson added a point for Georgia with a 150-152.5 victory over Bailey Cook.
In her final ride as a Bulldog, senior Lindsey Cheek rode to a 142- 140.5 win over Texas A&M’s Sarah Kate Grider for Georgia’s only point in Reining.
In the final event, Equitation Over Fences, the Bulldogs and Aggies split the points. In their final rides in the Red and Black, Liza Finsness and Meg O’Mara rode to victories with scores of 180 and 177, respectively.