It's not often around the nation that a conference can claim that a team for their league in a particular sport has never failed to win the national championship. For the Southeastern Conference in equestrian, that is an accomplishment and bragging point that is staggering the more you digest it.
Again, there has never been a year in the history of women's collegiate equestrian where a SEC school has not captured the national championship. While equestrian has only been recognized as an officially sponsored conference sport since 2013, the sport has crowned a national champion each year since 2002, with every winner being a current member of the SEC.
All four SEC equestrian programs have won the national championship at least once in the previous six seasons, with Auburn winning two consecutive and three of the last four. Auburn was 13-0 and ranked No. 1 nationally when the 2020 season ended abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Auburn was declared SEC Champions in April after posting a 6-0 record in the SEC and defeating all league competitors at least once. In addition to ending the season No. 1 in the overall team rankings following another perfect season, Auburn, who hasn't lost in two years, had 12 of its 13 wins come against opponents ranked in the Top 10.
All four national riders of the year in the various equestrian events were from the SEC. Deanna Green, Taylor St. Jacques and McKayla Langmeier of Auburn were all selected as end-of-year recipients, as was South Carolina senior Caroline Gute.
St. Jacques was awarded the NCEA Flat Rider of the Year for the second-straight season. The Glen Allen, Va., product put together a 12-1-0 record in the event with a team-best seven MOPs.
For her efforts, St. Jacques was a First Team All-American for the third-straight season in Flat. She went a perfect 6-0 vs. SEC opponents, setting a season-best 94 on the road at Texas A&M in the fall. In addition, St. Jacques was named NCEA and SEC Rider of the Month in the event for her performances in March.
Langmeier followed up an outstanding freshman campaign in 2019 with an equally solid effort in 2020. The East Granby, Conn., product was named the NCEA Fences Rider of the Year for the second-consecutive season, going 11-3-0 with two MOPs.
Langmeier was named a First Team All-American for the second-straight year, going 10-2 vs. nationally-ranked opponents. Her 92 vs. Georgia in November was a season-best for the sophomore.
Green was awarded NCEA Horsemanship Rider of the Year for the Tigers, finishing her junior season with an 11-1-1 record. The Ocala, Fla., native finished with three MOPs and was named a First Team All-American.
Auburn's top Horsemanship rider averaged a 75.7 on the season, scoring a career-best 79.5 in October. Green was named NCEA and SEC Horsemanship Rider of the Month in March.
In her swan song season Gute posted a 10-1-1 record in reining, leading the Gamecocks in wins. Gute notched one Most Outstanding Player honor this season in her 74-64 win over Auburn's Jen Kasper on Oct. 25, bringing Gute's career reining M.O.P. total to 10, the third highest total in the program history and just one behind the program record of 11.
South Carolina senior Madison Sellman added another honor to her résumé as she was named the 2019-20 SEC Equestrian Scholar Athlete of the Year. This was the second consecutive SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year award for Sellman.
The Honeoye Falls, N.Y. native has racked up every academic honor possible during her time as a Gamecock. A three-time NCEA All-Academic First Team honoree, Sellman has earned a spot on the NCEA Academic Honor Roll and SEC Academic Honor Roll every year she's been eligible.