By Caroline Lindstrom
The Baylor equestrian team ended its season with a 7-6 loss to Georgia in the second round of the NCEA Championship at the Extraco Events Center in Waco.
“The girls rode well and performed to the best of their ability, but we were out liked by the judges,” head coach Ellen White said.
The Bears and the Georgia Bulldogs were neck-and-neck for a majority of the meet, starting with a 2-2 tie in equitation on the flat.
The Bears fell in horsemanship 2-1 but bounced back in reining to win 2-1. Equitation over fences proved to be the deciding factor with a 2-1 loss for the Bears. The Bears beat the Bulldogs in raw scores but the points added up in Georgia’s favor.
“You can have a great offense and a great defense, but they still have to come out and play an entire game, and we just didn’t do it,” White said. “Baylor didn’t do it.”
Junior Samantha Schaefer and sophomore Jennifer Mitchell scored points in flat. Seniors Katherine Berg and Shelbey Jackson scored in the reining event. Freshman Savannah Jenkins earned a point in fences, and junior Parris Rice received Baylor’s only point in horsemanship.
“It didn’t leave me feeling dejected or ‘oh no we’re never going to be able to do this’ because the top six teams were so close, it just depended on the day,” White said.
She said she is excited for the incoming freshmen the team will bring on in the fall. She said a few freshmen will most likely compete in the fall season.
“Over the summer we are off, so some of the girls will stay and ride our stock of horses because it’s not like we can turn them out, then expect good things from them in the fall,” White said.
Georgia defeated Big 12 Champion Oklahoma State 8-6 in the semifinals to advance to the championship. South Carolina overtook Auburn 10-6 to advance to the championships. In a rematch of the SEC Championships, Georgia defeated South Carolina with a raw-score tiebreaker to become the 2014 NCEA National Champions.