DESTIN, Fla. (SEC Digital Network)--The Southeastern Conference will now sponsor a championship in the sport of equestrian beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, Commissioner Mike Slive announced Friday. Four current members of the league sponsor the sport with Auburn, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M each fielding equestrian squads.
Equestrian becomes the SEC's 21st sport and is the first championship to be
added to the league since softball began in 1997.
"I think we were really looking for a championship opportunity for the
student-athletes that participate in the sport and this will provide them the
opportunity to compete for a conference championship now," said SEC Executive
Associate Commissioner Mark Womack.
Legislative action, which took place this week in Destin, was necessary to
allow for the addition of equestrian. Previously, one-third of league
institutions would need to sponsor a sport in order for the conference to hold
a championship event in that sport. With 12 members, that number was previous
four institutions. With the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M, the new
legislation will allow that number to remain at four for the sponsoring of new
"There was legislative action that really altered the number of teams that were
required to have a conference championship in a sport," Womack said "With that
move, we were right on the edge with equestrian, and so that legislative
proposal being passed resulted in an equestrian championship for the first
The first SEC equestrian championship will take place in the 2012-13 school
year and will likely be an on-campus championship.
"That will begin next season and that will probably be a campus-hosted championship,"
Womack said. "We will have to see where it goes from there."
SEC to Sponsor Equestrian This Fall
June 01, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)