Thursday, November 9, 2017

Top Ranked Dawgs Sign 14 Riders

UGA Sports Communications

Georgia equestrian head coach Meghan Boenig has announced that 14 riders have signed a National Letter of Intent to continue their riding careers and education at the University of Georgia beginning the 2018-19 school year. 

The signed riders include: Courtney Blumer, Taylor Burgess, Addy Cullum, Kaitlin Dierks, Sarah Finkel, Lindsay Guynn, Miller Lantis, Sara Lewis, Marley Mainwaring, Rachel McMullen, Jaden Olson, Natalie Stoyko, Morgan Tabler, and Adelaide Toensing.

“Our early 2018 signing class is a strong one,” Boenig said. “It brings depth in each event with strength in both competitive success and catch riding. We are additionally very proud of the academic strength of many of our student-athletes. They continue a tradition of strength outside of the arena, both in school, in the community and in leadership.  We look forward to this bright young Dawg class to be our future.”

Courtney Blumer | Western | Monroe, North Carolina

Courtney Blumer comes to Georgia with numerous top finishes under her belt.  She finished top-5 at the 2017 IEA Nationals after placing first in zones to qualify.  She finished fourth in the 2016 NRHA Final Top Ten World Standings after being Reserve Champion at Southeast Affiliate Finals Youth 14-18 and Champion of the SERHA Affiliate Year End Standings Youth 14-18. 

“We are fortunate to have such a high quality athlete on board,” assistant coach Laura Brainard said. “Courtney has been well decorated within the NRHA and continues to be. She has terrific work ethic, drive, and determination. Her numerous qualities will lead her to a great amount of success at Georgia.”

Taylor Burgess | Western | Horseheads, New York

Taylor Burgess signs with Georgia after being the 2017 AJPHA World Champion in 14-18 Horsemanship, 2016 AQHA Congress Novice Youth All-Around, and the 2015 AGHA Novice Championships All-Around. 

I can't say enough great things about Taylor,” said Brainard. “Her positive attitude, talent and work ethic will help bring our team to new heights. We are honored to have Taylor on board and are eager to watch her growth and success here at Georgia.”

Addy Cullum | Western | Cayce, South Carolina

Addy Cullum comes to Georgia after being the 2015 IEA Varsity Intermediate National Reining Individual Champion, 2016 NRHA Southeastern Regional Affiliate 14-18 Champion, 2017 NRHA Florida Reining Horse Association Florida Classic Youth 14-18 Reserve-Champion, 2017 Southeast Reining Horse Association year-end LIMITED NON-PRO Champion. She also finished third at the 2017 NRHA Derby Limited Non Pro.

“Addy is definitely a ‘go-getter’ and has many excellent qualities to add to our team,” Brianard said. “She is very confident, disciplined, and competitive. She is a phenomenal fit for Georgia and will shine inside and outside of the arena.”

Kaitlin Dierks | Western | Bothell, Washington

Kaitlin Dierks comes to Georgia with a strong showing in the competition arena.  She has gone to the Youth World show and placed among the top-30 in the Level 2 Horsemanship. She won a state championship title in horsemanship in 2016 and placed top-5 at the 2016 Level 1 Championship in Rookie Trail.

“The commitment, self confidence, and determination Kaitlin has is second to none,” said Brainard. “She has many great skill sets that will contribute to our team and success. I am very excited to have Kaitlin in our Dawg family and am looking forward to watching her develop.”

Sarah Finkel | Western | Walnut Creek, California

Sarah Finkel is the winner of the All-American Quarter Horse Congress.  She finished top-10 at the Level 1 Championships in Pleasure, Trail, Horsemanship, and Hunt Seat Equitation.  She had top-15 finishes at the AQHA Congress in Horsemanship, Hunt Seat Equitation, & Hunter Under Saddle, and qualified for AQHYA World Show in Horsemanship, Equitation, and Trail. 

“Sarah has the academic ‘smarts’ that every Division 1 team hopes to find,” said Brainard. “Her charismatic personality, commitment, and determination will be an excellent fit for Georgia. I have no doubt that Sarah will thrive inside and outside of the arena.”

Lindsay Guynn | Western | Berthoud, Colorado

Lindsay Guynn commits to Georgia as the 2017 NSBA Non-Pro Ranch Riding World Champion. In 2016 she was the Reserve Champion in the Reining at the AQHA L1 Championships and Champion in the Ranch Riding, in addition to being the 2015 AQHYA Reserve World Champion in Ranch Riding and Reserve Champion in the Ranch Riding at the AQHA L1 Championships. She was also named the 2014 RMQHA Rookie of the Year. 

“I could brag about Lindsay for days,” Brainard said. “Lindsay comes from a very knowledgeable equestrian background and family. She has a tremendous amount of work ethic, talent, and character, which will contribute greatly to our team. I am beyond excited to see her success and growth at Georgia.”

Miller Lantis | Western | Corunna, Michigan

Miller Lantis comes to Georgia with numerous top finishes. She competed in five classes at the 2017 AQHA Congress, including Youth 15-18 Horsemanship where she finished 14th, an 11th place finish in NYATT Showmanship, 13th in Youth 14-18 Western Riding, a finalist in Youth 15-18 Showmanship, and 12th in Youth 15-18 Equitation.  

“Miller is a well-rounded athlete who will be an exceptional Dawg,” said Brianard. “I know she will develop into a tough competitor and will absolutely be academically successful. Miller is going to thrive at Georgia.”

Sara Lewis | Western | Washinton, Indiana

Sara Lewis comes to Georgia after placing Top-20 at the World Show. She has 15 AQHA Congress Top-15 placings in Horsemanship, Equitation, Trail, and Showmanship, seven of which were top-10 in Horsemanship & Equitation. She also has 24 AQHA All-Around Titles, and qualified for National Ford Youth World in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

“Sara is a game changer,” said Brainard. “She is a multi-talented athlete and leader. She puts forth 110 percent effort in all that she does. We are fortunate to have her here at Georgia and can't wait to watch her grow as a first class student and athlete.”

Marley Mainwaring | Western | Palos Verdes, Calif.

Marley Mainwaring brings an impressive resume to Athens. She was the horsemanship champion at the 2017 All American Quarter Horse Congress and placed seventh in the horsemanship at the 2016 AQHYA World Show. Additionally, in 2017, she qualified for the AQHYA Trail Nationally World Show, the AQHYA Western Riding Nationally World Show, and the AQHYA Showmanship Nationally World Show.

“Marley has proven herself many times within the industry and is a top performer,” Brainard said. “Not only is she talented but she puts forth the work it takes to be successful. She will go on to do great things here at Georgia and is certainly one to watch.”

Rachel McMullen | English | Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Rachel McMullen comes to UGA with wins in the Big Eq at WEF, Lake Placid, and Kentucky. She placed second in both the WIHS Jumper Phase and Junior Hunter Stake at the 2017 Devon Horse Show.  She qualified for Medal Finals for four straight years and Maclay Finals in 2014, 2015, and 2017. 

“Rachel is a very talented Equitation rider,” assistant coach Alexandra O’Toole said. “Her feel and polish show off her great talent in both Fences and Flat.  We are excited for what Rachel's commitment will mean to our future.”

Jaden Olson | English | Parker, Colo.

Jaden Olson will arrive in Athens as the Champion of the 2016 R.W. Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship and has qualified for all major finals including USET, Harrisburg, WIHS, and Maclay Finals. 

“From a 4.0 in academics to success riding sales horses, Jaden can do it all,” said O’Toole.  “Her experience and talent will bring added depth and leadership to the team.”

Natalie Stoyko | English | The Woodlands, Texas

Natalie Stoyko makes her commitment to the University of Georgia official after most recently finishing top-25 at Maclay Finals in 2017. She also finished fourth at the Hunterdon Cup in 2017. She has qualified and attended numerous prestigious shows, including USEF Hunt Seat Medal, Maclay and USET Finals. 

“Natalie has had a different mount in every class as she is a working student of top professionals,” O’Toole said. “She brings an incredible depth of knowledge from this experience and success of catch riding. We are so excited about the strength she brings.”

Morgan Tabler | English | Dumfries, Va.

Morgan Tabler is the winner of the 2017 Bryan Trophy.  She qualified for Harrisburg Medal Finals, Maclay Finals, and WIHS High Children’s Jumpers in 2017. Additionally, she placed 11that the WIHS High Children’s Jumpers in 2016.

“Morgan brings a well-rounded history of both competing in the Equitation and Hunter arena,” said O’Toole. “This diversity is an amazing attribute that will add to the success of our team.”

Adelaide Toensing | English | Charlotte, Vt.

Adelaide Toensing comes to Georgia with a lengthy list of accomplishments, awards and accolades.  Among those, she was the Hits Ocala Equitation Championship Winner in 2017, an EAP National Finalist in 2015 She also earned a Silver Medal in Zone Jumper Championships and Reserve Champion in the $10,000 High Children’s Classic at Capitol Challenge this year.

“Adelaide has a wealth of mileage in the Equitation ring that will translate perfectly in our format,” O’Toole said. “Additionally her academic record, of a 4.0, shows her attention to doing everything well.”

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