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No. 1 Auburn earns 12-8 road win at No. 2 Georgia

BISHOP, Ga. - The No. 1 Auburn equestrian team excelled on the road Saturday, defeating No. 2 Georgia, 12-8, at the Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga., and sweeping the regular season series with the Bulldogs. The victory moved the top-ranked Tigers to 7-1 on the season and 3-1 overall.

"The team has been riding unbelievably well in practice and we knew that if we carried that over to the arena, we could get a win on the road," head coach Greg Williams said. "We did that today and rode extremely well. I truly believe that we haven't come close to peaking yet and we couldn't ask to be more complete at this moment in the season than we are right now."

The Tigers opened the day with a pair of 3-2 victories in Horsemanship and Equitation over Fences. Western seniors Hannah Loseke and Griffin Knight along with freshman Lauren Diaz picked up wins for Auburn in Horsemanship as Knight earned the first point in a 73-68.5 victory. Diaz defeated Georgia's Graysen Stroud 76-73.5 and Loseke closed out the event with a 77-73.5 win over Madison Anger. The 77 points was a season-high for the Kearney, Neb., product.

In Equitation over Fences, a trio of freshmen in Caitlin Boyle, Hayley Iannotti and Ashton Alexander guided the Tigers to a 3-2 win in the event. Boyle edged Georgia's Meg O'Mara, 87-85, while Alexander earned a 78-77 victory over Leylan Gleeson. Ianotti picked up the largest margin over victory for the Tigers in Fences, defeating Alex Maracic, 83-75.

Following intermission, the Auburn Hunt Seat riders dominated Equitation on the Flat and came away with a 4-1 win. Alexander opened scoring with an 80-77 win over Gleeson, while junior Ashley Foster bested O'Mara, 89-87. Senior Elizabeth Benson picked up an 85-80 win to remain undefeated in the event this season (8-0-0) and Boyle closed out Flat with an 87-80 victory.

Knight and sophomore Alexa Rivard sealed the deal for the Tigers in Reining as each earned victories over the Bulldogs. Knight garnered a 68-63.5 win over Charley Thiel, while Rivard picked up her team-leading sixth win in the event after edging Georgia's Stroud, 67-66.

Boyle, Knight and Alexander led Auburn with a two wins a piece. Boyle was honored as MOP in Equitation over Fences, while Loseke earned her first MOP honor this season in Horsemanship.

Auburn returns to The Plains in two weeks, hosting SEC rival and defending national champion South Carolina at the Auburn University Horse Center. The teams face off at 1 p.m. CT, Feb. 27.