AUBURN, Ala.—Auburn University will host the first-ever Southeastern Conference equestrian championship Friday and Saturday, March 29 and 30, at the Auburn University Horse Center on Wire Road. All four SEC equestrian programs—Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M—will be competing.
Friday’s competition will begin at 10 a.m. and will feature matchups with No. 1 seed Auburn vs. No. 4 seed Texas A&M and No. 2 seed South Carolina vs. No. 3 seed Georgia. The losing teams of Friday’s competition will meet in a consolation round at 10 a.m. Saturday, followed by the championship round at 2 p.m. All times are subject to change.
Admission to all events is free, and head coach Greg Williams is hoping for a strong show of support by Auburn students, faculty and staff as well as the surrounding communities.
“The weekend of the championship, area schools will be wrapping up their spring breaks and that’s also Easter weekend, so a lot of families will be out of town,” Williams said. “We want this inaugural SEC championship to be great success and to set the standard for future championships, and large, supportive crowds will go a long way toward accomplishing that.”
The competition should be intense. In the March 20 National Collegiate Equestrian Association coaches’ poll, all four SEC teams ranked in the top 10, with Georgia at No. 1, Auburn at No. 2 and South Carolina and A&M at Nos. 6 and 8, respectively.
For years, Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina were the only SEC schools to have equestrian as an official sport, and the three traditionally held a Southern equestrian championship, with the winner of that going on to the national championship. When Texas A&M, which also has an equestrian team, joined the SEC in 2012, however, the league voted to add a conference championship in the sport of equestrian for the 2012-13 academic year, making it the SEC’s 21st sport and the first to be added since softball in 1997.
The SEC equestrian champion will go on to compete in the National Collegiate Equestrian Championship in Waco, Texas, in February. Auburn equestrian won the national championship in 2006 and and again in 2011.
Follow Auburn equestrian on Twitter at @aubequestrian and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AUEquestrian.