Georgia senior Ali Tritschler and Ganache fly over the last fence in the jumping course. The University of Georgia equestrian team hosted the Texas A&M Aggies to fall by a score of 10-8 on Oct. 25, 2019, in Bishop, Georgia. (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

The No. 2-ranked Georgia equestrian team suffered a lopsided 16-4 defeat at No. 1 Auburn on Nov. 15. The Bulldogs will enter the second half of the season with a 5-2 overall record and 1-2 in conference action.

“Today did not go how we wanted it to, which is really unfortunate,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “However, I really am impressed with a lot more consistency that we’re seeing in the rides, higher scores, and fewer penalties. This is a very good and strong team who is deserving of high scores.”

In flat, Georgia fell to the Tigers 4-1 with senior Ali Tritschler earning the lone point for the Bulldogs. She beat her Auburn opponent 73-72. Junior Hayley Mairano dropped the first point of the meet, scoring 80 compared to the Tigers’ 83. Senior Maddy Darst finished her flat competition by scoring a team-low 72 against Auburn’s score of 78. Seniors Grace Bridges and Isabelle Heckler ended the first round of competition by both scoring above 80 in a losing effort.

The Bulldogs also suffered a 4-1 defeat in reigning. Sophomore Courtney Blumer won the sole point for Georgia with a team-high score of 69.5. Julia Spreng and Lindsay Guynn both posted scores of 66.5 that were not enough against their Auburn opponents. Junior Jordan Carpenter finished with a score of 69, but the point narrowly fell to the Tigers with her opponent scoring 69.5.

Auburn earned a clean sweep over the Bulldogs in fences, outscoring Georgia 451-397 over the five riders. Freshman Rachel McMullen earned the highest score for the Bulldogs (88) but fell to Auburn’s leading scorer McKayla Langmeier, who earned a score of 92.

Georgia fell 3-2 to the Tigers in horsemanship. Sophomore Kaitlin Dierks earned the first point for the Bulldogs earning a score of 75, edging her opponent by half a point. Junior Lexi Lane won Georgia’s second point in horsemanship, outscoring her opponent 73.5-69. Taylor Burgess scored a competition-low 67 while Maddie Fiorante, and Sara Lewis also lost points to their individual opponents. Fiorante ended with a score of 72.5 while Lewis scored 74.5.

The meet concluded Georgia’s fall season. The Bulldogs will return to conference action on Feb. 1 when they travel to Texas A&M to begin the final stretch of the 2019-20 campaign.

“We have a lot that we’ve built on and now we just have to continue that in the spring,” Boenig said. “This makes us hungry, we’ve been in this position before and we’ve made lemonade out [of] it. That is going to be our goal and we head into practice and look forward to hosting Auburn in the spring.”

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