The Georgia equestrian team has arrived in Waco, Texas for the 2016 NCEA National Championship at the Extraco Events Center. The Bulldogs are the No. 2 seed and own an 11-3 record after going 10-2 during the regular season and 1-1 at the Southeastern Conference Championship.
Evaluations took place during the day on Wednesday with opening ceremonies being held in the evening. The NCEA Championship will begin Thursday, April 14 and will conclude with the championship round Saturday, April 16.
“Today was evaluation day where we get all of the horses out to see what level they each can compete at, with hopes that they are in the championship rounds,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “It’s important for the competitors get out there for one last practice as well.”
As the No. 2 seed, the Bulldogs will receive a first-round bye and will face the winner of No. 7 South Carolina/No. 10 SMU at 8:30 a.m. CT on Friday, April 15. South Carolina enters the championship as the No. 7 seed after going 4-9 during the regular season and finishing third at the SEC Championship. SMU holds a 6-9 record as the No. 10 seed in the championship.
Georgia had ten riders recognized for NCEA Academic All-American honors at tonight’s opening ceremony. Bailey Anderson, Addy Cord, Liza Finsness, Lauren Garmon, Leylan Gleeson, and Rachel Kolb were named first team honorees. Second team honorees included Kyndall Harper and Charley Thiel. Sammie Johnson and Lindsey Cheek received the award as honorable mentions.
NCEA All-Americans were also recognized tonight. The Bulldogs had one first team honoree, and four second team honoreers and three named as honorable mentions. Bailey Anderson was named a First Team All-American in Horsemanship. Addy Cord (Equitation Over Fences), Liza Finsness (Equitation on the Flat), Heather Schmidt (Horsemanship), and Lauren Garmon (Reining) earned Second Team All-American honors. Rounding out the All-American list for the Bulldogs were Meg O’Mara (Equitation Over Fences), Rachel Kolb (Horsemanship), and Kyndall Harper (Reining) as Honorable Mentions.
The Bulldogs enter the 2016 NCEA National Championship looking to bring home the program’s seventh national title.