BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Auburn University has been selected to play host to the inaugural Southeastern Conference equestrian championship, the league office announced Wednesday. The event will take place March 29-30, 2013 at the Auburn University Horse Center.
The Auburn University Horse Center opened in 2002 and is a 60-acre facility located on the edge of Auburn’s campus as part of the Department of Animal Sciences.
“We are honored and excited to host the first-ever sanctioned SEC Championship, and we know it will be a great event,” Auburn head coach Greg Williams said. “This is a monumental accomplishment for the sport of equestrian, that all of the coaches in the SEC have worked hard for. It will be a weekend that we will all take pride in seeing to fruition.”
The SEC announced June 1 that it would begin sponsoring an equestrian championship, making it the league’s 21st sport. It is the first championship to be added to the conference since softball began in 1997.
“We are pleased to begin sponsoring a championship in the sport of equestrian,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “Our institutions that are participating in equestrian have had great success in it. The SEC championship should be another outstanding event for the league. We are looking forward the inaugural championship at Auburn.”
The equestrian programs of the SEC have been the nation’s most successful. The league’s four teams - Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M – are the only programs ever to win National Collegiate Equestrian Association overall team national championships.
Georgia has tallied a league-leading five overall national championships, including three consecutive from 2008-10. Auburn, South Carolina and Texas A&M each have two overall national titles to their credit.
Three times in its program history Auburn played host to the Southern Equestrian Championships, a three-team competition between the Tigers, Georgia and South Carolina, doing so in 2004, 2007 and 2010.
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