** Brought To You By: Elmer's Glue-All -- When It Has To Be Equine, It Has To Be Elmer's **
Anyone interested in the finer points of Saturday's event or the Dawgs' upcoming participation in the NCEA Championship April 12-14, feel free to hit the jump...
On Saturday, the #6 South Carolina Gamecocks (fresh off a victory over the Auburn Tiglehorseywomen on Friday) took on our beloved #1 Georgia Bulldogs in Bishop, GA. Despite a sweep over the Gamecocks during the season, the Dawgs were doomed from the outset. Perhaps if Georgia had played anyone during the regular season, victory would have been within their grasp. Unfortunately, Greg McGarity spent the better part of the summer of 2011 petitioning and bribing the NCEA to make sure the equestrian team only had to go up against squads composed of the elderly or young children. He even had the nerve to push for competitors that had never been on a horse before. While this (and only this) allowed the Dawgs to ascend to the #1 ranking in the land, it set them up for a hell of a fall come the post season.
Despite tying the Gamecocks overall in the final of Saturday's Southern Championship, the Dawgs lost in the raw score by a measure of more than 1100 points. Though the Dawgs were able to hang with the Cocks in the head to head competition, their overall scores simply weren't as strong. Individual performances in each event were impressive throughout, with Georgia riders (Carly Anthony, Kylee Arbuckle, Megan Hawkins, and McKenzie Lantz) winning MVP awards. Nonetheless, it was not a consistent day for the Dawgs and that ultimately led to their demise. It was Georgia's tenth appearance in the Southern Championship Finals and South Carolina's first win... so look for a full page spread in The State and a banner in Williams-Brice.
Up next for the Dawgs is the SCEA National Championship in Waco, TX on the weekend of April 12. The Dawgs are the third seed in both hunt seat and western competitions.
Until then... GO DAWGS!!!