Nov. 6, 2012
AUBURN, Ala. -
Auburn freshman Elizabeth Benson had another successful weekend as she closed out her junior career at the ASPCA Maclay Finals at the Alltech National Horse Show in Lexington, Ky. Benson finished fourth out of a field of 156 qualifiers.
“It was another great showing for Auburn riders,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. “While the individual outside competitions have now come to a close this fall, Auburn riders have amassed a school record of wins and finalist finishers. I think it is not only a testament to the recruiting efforts of our coaching staff, but to the growth of this sport in the NCAA, as well.”
In order to qualify for Maclay Finals, riders must first compete in their respective regional final. Benson competed in the region 2 finals where she finished third to guarantee herself a spot at the competition in Lexington. Maclay Finals is made up of two jumping rounds, a flat phase and a final test. Riders have to compete over a course designed by the judging panel.
The top-23 are then asked to come back for the flat phase in three different groups dependent on judges’ preference. After the flat phase, the top-23 jump another course designed by the judging panel. After the final jumping round, Benson was one of four riders asked to come back for the final test. The competitors are asked to switch horses and perform the same course on an unfamiliar mount.
Benson capped off an outstanding fall with her fourth-place finish. Benson finished in the top-10 at three of the four major equitation finals this fall, highlighted by winning the WIHS Junior Equitation Final.
Benson is currently 1-0 in Equitation on the Flat with an Most Outstanding Player award and 1-0 in Equitation Over Fences.
The Tigers return to action this Friday, Nov. 9, as they host No. 1 Georgia at 3 p.m. CT at the Auburn University Horse Center.