Ladies and gentlemen, a little mood music:
When last we saw our intrepid Georgia Bulldogs Equestrian team, they were successfully dispatching the #3 Texas A&M Aggies back in November. And in College Station, no less! That victory moved the Dawgs from #9 to #6 and looked like a sign that things were really trending in the right direction. Now, not so much.
For, you see, our beloved Bulldogs traveled to Martin, TN yesterday, where they were defeated by the UT-Martin Skyhawks. To say that most did not see that coming, would be a quite a bit of an understatement.
Nonetheless, there were a couple of positive takeaways. For one, sophomore Hailey Mairano won Most Outstanding Performance for the first time. Georgia jumped out to an early lead with a dominant 4-1 victory in Equitation Over Fences and, despite losing Horsemanship, went into the second half of the competition with a 6-4 lead. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ended. UT-Martin edged the Dawgs 3-2 in Equitation on the Flat and then decisively clinched the event with a 4-1 victory in Reining.
It’s hard to say if the loss was the result of rust after a long layoff or a confluence of smaller negative outcomes adding up. Following the event, Coach Meghan Boenig (for the uninitiated) or CMB (to us “HorseHeads”) indicated that she believes there were some lessons taken from the loss which the Dawgs can use to grow and improve moving forward. They better do so quickly, because a Texas A&M squad with revenge on their mind will be headed into the Classic City on February 9th.
The Dawgs are now 2-4 Overall, 1-2 in the SEC, and 1-1 at home. I’d say it’s time to saddle up.
Until next time...