MARTIN, Tenn. – Meghan Cunningham, the women’s equestrian coach at The University of Tennessee at Martin, is all too familiar with the success of The University of Georgia team. For those who are not, the Bulldogs’ equestrian program has won five over Varsity Equestrian National Championships (VENC) and five Hunter Seat National Championships including this past year’s title.
When Cunningham announced she was signing sisters Elizabeth and Katherine Gay from Carrollton, Ga., to scholarships to compete at UT Martin this fall, one might say the Skyhawk coach invaded enemy territory and came away with a bountiful haul in the two Hunter Seat riders who are transferring to UT Martin from the University of West Georgia.
“Katherine and Elizabeth will be a strong package for us,” Cunningham said. “They are outstanding young ladies as well as riders with a wealth of experience in the national arena. I am ecstatic to have them coming to UT Martin.”
In 2008, Elizabeth Gay won the 15-17 Georgia Hunter Jumper Association Regular Member Circuit Championship; the Georgia Hunter Jumper Association Regular Working Hunters championship; and the Junior Hunters Georgia Hunter Jumper Association reserve championship. She also finished third in the Zone 4 Regular Working Hunters; and qualified and competed in the USEF National Hunt Seat Medal Finals in Pennsylvania.
Gay graduated from Carrollton (Ga.) High School in 2008. She was an honor graduate; a four-year member of the Beta Club; a four-year member of the National Honor Society; and a member of the varsity track team in 2006 and 07. She helped the Trojans win the 2007 state championship.
Gay attended the University of West Georgia this past year, but decided to transfer to UT Martin for several reasons. “I chose UT Martin because of the academic programs, the size of the campus and the equestrian program,” she said.
Katherine Gay is also transferring to UT Martin from West Georgia.
In 2008, she won the Georgia Hunter Jumper Association Child Jumper championship; was the Georgia Hunter Jumper Association Regular Working Hunters reserve champion; placed sixth in the Zone 4 Regular Working Hunters; and qualified and competed in the USEF Hunt Seat Medal National Finals in Pennsylvania.
Like her sister Elizabeth, Katherine prepped at Carrollton High School. She was an honor graduate, a four-year member of the Beta Club and a four-year member of the National Honor Society. She was a member of the varsity track team and was a member of the team which won the 2007 state championship.
“I decided to transfer to UT Martin because it has an outstanding animal science program,” Katherine Gay said.