Auburn’s tough road test at Georgia
AUBURN, Ala. (auburntigers.com) – The No. 2 Auburn equestrian team returns to competition Friday, Nov. 11, and travels to No. 4 Georgia for a tough Southeastern Conference matchup. The Tigers and the Bulldogs are set to square off at 12 p.m. CTat the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga.
“All the Southeastern Conference meets are super tough and always big battles,” head coach Greg Williams said. “Getting a win is a large order when you’re on the road in this sport. Friday is going to be a great test for us and we’re feeling really good. Our practices have been good over the last couple weeks and I believe we’re ready to go.”
Auburn’s (3-1) lineup boasts experienced upperclassmen as the Tigers look to come away from their rival with a win.
In Equitation Over Fences, Auburn will be guided by senior Ashley Foster. The Brookeville, Md., product is a perfect 5-0 on the season in the event. Sophomores Ashton Alexander, Caitlin Boyle, and Hayley Iannotti will join her, while freshman Summer Hill makes an appearance in the lineup for the Tigers.
Alexander, Boyle, Foster, and Iannotti will also represent Auburn in Equitation on the Flat. Senior Tory Hoft is set to compete in the event and enters the weekend with a 4-1 mark on Flat.
The Western crew will open competition in Horsemanship and will be led by senior Hannah Stephens and sophomores Lauren Diaz and Megan Rauh. Freshman Kara Kaufmann also secured a spot in the lineup, having an unblemished record of 4-0 in the event this season. Making her first start in SEC play is freshman Cydney Benes.
The Reining corps features an experienced crew with junior Alexa Rivard at the helm. Sophomores Betsy Brown, Ali Fratessa, and Blair McFarlin will also compete for the Tigers with Kaufmann joining the lineup.
HOLDING ON AT NO. 2
The Tigers continue to hold the No. 2 spot in the most recent NCEA poll.
Texas A&M stands at No. 1, while Baylor moved up to No. 3. Georgia ranks fourth and SMU rounds out the top five. Oklahoma State, Fresno State, South Carolina, TCU, and New Mexico State are in spots 6-10.
AUBURN-GEORGIA SERIES HISTORY
Georgia leads the all-time series with a 21-11 overall mark over the Tigers in dual competition. The Bulldogs hold a 11-2 record against Auburn in meets competed in Georgia.
Auburn had a successful season last year against the Bulldogs, defeating UGA in all three meetings. The Tigers picked up just their second-ever win in Bishop last spring, while also defeating UGA in the SEC Championship final held at the UGA Equestrian Complex.
FIFTEENTH SEASON OF VARSITY EQUESTRIAN
The 2016-17 season marks the 15th year of varsity equestrian at Auburn. Head coach Greg Williams has guided the Tigers since the program was recognized by the Athletics Department and has amassed an impressive 121-49 overall record.
In 14 years, Auburn has earned four NCEA Championships (2006, 2011, 2013, 2016), one Southeastern Conference title (2016), three Southern Equestrian Conference crowns (2004, 2010, 2011) and three NCEA Hunt Seat championships (2008, 2011, 2013).
Individually, Auburn boasts 41 All-Americans and 34 All-SEC selections. The Southeastern Conference first began sponsoring equestrian in 2012-13.
Auburn returns to The Plains for another SEC meet, hosting No. 7 South Carolina at the Auburn University Horse Center, Nov. 18. The Tigers and the Gamecocks will face off at 3 p.m. CT.