Feb. 23, 2013
BISHOP, Ga. -
The second-ranked Auburn equestrian team defeated top-ranked Georgia, 12-8, Saturday on the road, followed by a 15-4 win over Delaware State to move to 8-1 (4-1) on the season and remain undefeated this spring.
“As predicted, it was a great meet between two great teams against Georgia,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. “Winning on the road in this sport is always difficult, but it is a great accomplishment pulling it off at the top-ranked team’s place. The Georgia riders were tough as always and did a great job hosting the doubleheader.”
The Tigers defeated Georgia for the second time this season, having won in Auburn, 13-7, on Nov. 9. Auburn will carry a seven-meet winning streak into its final regular-season competitions next weekend before hosting the inaugural SEC Equestrian Championship, March 29-30, at the Auburn University Horse Center.
Against Georgia, Auburn led 7-3 at the break after winning both equitation over fences, 3-2, and horsemanship, 4-1.
"Overall, I'd say the group rode some of the best I've seen all year," Western rider Stephanie Rucci said. "We all know how difficult it is to win an away meet, especially at the top-ranked school, but we overcame it all. We came in with a goal in mind and we accomplished it. Not only was our talent consistent through the day, but we got compliments on our spirit and sportsmanship."
Auburn and Georgia split equitation on the flat and reining, as the Bulldogs took the flat, 3-2, and the Tigers won reining, 3-2.
"Today was definitely a couple of big wins for Auburn being that we beat Georgia on the road and that every part of the team rode extremely well," Benson said. "We knew coming in that these would be tough meets and when we started off strong, we didn't let up. Overall I think that our hard work has paid off in defeating the top-ranked team and pulling out a win against Delaware State. We couldn't be happier."
In Auburn’s second meet against Delaware State, the Tigers swept the four events winning over fences, 4-1, on the flat, 3-1, horsemanship, 4-1, and reining 4-1.
"We had great rides in our second meet against Delaware State," Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. "I'm proud of our girls pulling through so strong. We had a number of MOP awards today and two great team wins."
Over fences, Benson (86-64), Quincy Hayes (82-74), Coryn Bergenty (80-70) and Megan Bifano (79-67) won their points, while Piper Donnelly (80-60), Christine Orrison (80-77) and Anna Becker (85-78) earned points on the flat.
In Horsemanship, Knight (73.5-71.5), Rucci (68-60), Hannah Loseke (68.5-68) and Lucy Igoe (72-71) earned wins, and in reining, Cracraft (68.5-60), Hailey Munger (70-62), Julianna Cook (67.5-58.5) and Morgan Burns (69-66) picked up their points.
"These meets were really a team effort," Munger said. "It was nice to see every part our team succeed and come out with both wins."
Benson was awarded Most Outstanding Player over fences in both meets, while Rucci picked up the MOP honor against Georgia in horsemanship. Against Delaware State, Becker and Munger received MOP honors for equitation on the flat and reining, respectively.
Auburn returns to action next weekend as it travels to Texas for a series of three meets Friday-Sunday against Texas A&M, Baylor and TCU.
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