Auburn equestrian is bringing a championship home to The Plains.
After defeating Baylor and TCU Thursday in the opening rounds of the NCEA Championships in Waco, Texas, Auburn doubled up No. 1 seed Georgia 10-5 for its fifth national championship in program history.
The Tigers came out of the gates hooves blazing, racking up four points in equitation on the flat. Auburn's Ashton Alexander (score of 177), Taylor St. Jacques (179), Hayley Iannotti (175) and Caitlin Boyle (181) were the catalysts for the team's 4-0 lead after the opening frame.
Iannotti was bested by Georgia's Emma Mandarino in fences for the Bulldogs' first point of the day, but Boyle, St. Jacques and Alexander picked up the slack with 177-168, 171-168 and 160-163 wins, respectively.
In fences, Auburn grabbed an 8-5 lead, good for unofficial victory.
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In the horsemanship set, Auburn turned in a 2-1 advantage behind 148.5 outputs from both Kelsey Jung and Lauren Diaz. UGA took three of four rides in the final category of reining, but the singular win from Alexa Rivard was all Auburn needed to secure the championship.
The win avenges Auburn's 2018 SEC Championship and last season's national championship losses to the Bulldogs. The national championship is Auburn athletics' 21st, with equestrian accounting for the last four (2018, 2016, 2013,2011). The last non-equestrian national title for the school was football in 2010.
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