On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Bishop, Ga., our beloved Georgia Bulldogs mounted their majestic steeds as they prepared to take on the [Mascot Redacted] Riders of South Carolina. The Bulldogs would leave Bishop with an 11-8 victory, a season sweep of the Gamecocks, and a 7-1 record heading into their matchup with #1 Auburn later this month. However, the Gamecocks didn't go down without a fight and it took some end of match heroics to ensure a Bulldog victory.
Despite scoring lower overall, the Dawgs managed to win the Equitation on the Flat portion of the competition (3-2) on the heels (and/or hooves) of a high scoring performance by Michelle Morris(SR) and wins by Grace Rogers (JR) and Kylee Arbuckle (FR). Morris again performed strongly in Equitation Over Fences, but this, along with a strong showing from sophomores Olivia Dorey and Abby O'Mara, was not enough to eclipse the Gamecocks and high scorer Carolyn Curcio as South Carolina took the event 3-2.
To sum up, we're pretty solid on the flat... which makes sense since horses are pretty used to walking, trotting, prancing, galloping, etc. We seem to be struggling a little more with jumping...
Which also makes sense because if Gabrielle Anwar has taught me anything its that wild hearts can't be broken, but bad stuff happens when horses jump.
So following the two equitation events, the proceedings were tied at 7. The reining portion of the competition was amazingly close as composite scores gave Carolina the edge (348.5-348) but each team took two points. Horsemanship would prove to be the tipping point of the contest and it was the event in which the Bulldogs were most dominant. Led by an event MVP performance by high scorer Sara Parr (FR), the Dawgs downed the Gamecocks 4-1 leading to the overall 11-8 victory for the day.
All in all it was a solid day for the Dawgs. It was a victory about which all of Bulldog Nation can be proud... as long as we are willing to recognize that the only reason we were able to beat South Carolina is that our schedule is much easier than theirs.
Until next time... Go Dawgs!!!