April 11, 2023

SEC Announces 2023 Equestrian Scholar-Athlete, Community Service Team

By: SEC Staff
SECU (Twitter: @TheSECU)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The Southeastern Conference has announced its 2023 Equestrian awards, recognizing standout performances throughout the past season. The awards were voted on by the league’s four head coaches.

The 2023 Equestrian honors are listed below:

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Ellie Gerbrandt, Texas A&M, Allied Health, 4.00 GPA

  • AD Honor Roll 2021, 2022
  • Member of the 2021-2022 NCEA Academic Honor Roll
  • Gerbrandt has a 5-5-1 record in Horsemanship, including one MOP
  • Recorded a season high 74.5 points on four different occasions
  • Scored 72 points or higher on nine different occasions

Community Service Team

Hannah Lemel, Auburn

Lemel, continues to serve with Project Uplift. It is a program that matches Auburn University students with children that are referred by their parents or teachers. She meets with her mentee of two and a half years once a week, acting as a mentor and friend. She spends a lot of time playing at parks, teaching life skills like making friends and teaching them how to cook. She and her mentee are working through a goal of reading 50 books to earn a trip to the Georgia Aquarium. In addition, she has helped plan an event that brought the children of Project Uplift to the equestrian facility for a chance to ride horses over the last two years. Another organization she’s a part of is Compassus Hospice Care. She does a variety of different tasks and provides companionship to a patient with dementia, sitting with him and talking with him for a couple hours a week. She also assists the organization with any administrative tasks. In addition to all of this, she and her teammates have opened car doors at local elementary schools all school year.

Tori Kendle, Georgia

Kendle, as a senior leader of the Georgia equestrian team, goes above and beyond her call of duty to the UGA and Athens community. For starters, she manages, organizes, and tracks the community service efforts of the 56-woman roster, making sure that everyone meets their requirements and receives the appropriate points for lettering. She serves as the team captain for Shop With A Bulldog (SWAB). She coordinates service opportunities with appropriate representatives and relays them to the team, working along with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to bring service opportunities to the team, scheduling a variety of different to volunteer. She is one of the top in community service hours on the team, dedicating her time to organizations such as Butterfly Dreams Farm and the Athens Area Humane Society as well as participating in Spooky Dawgs, Project Safe Clothing Drive , Hunger Bowl, and Feed My Starving Children.

Emilia Reuitimann, South Carolina

Reuitimann, has completed 48 hours of community service in 2022-23, including work with WBB Trick or Treating Event, Week of Giving, Blood Drive, Gamecock Pantry, Final Victory Animal Rescue, Middle School Visit with Connect Lab, Generation Gamecock Mentoring Program, Artists for Africa, Back to School Drive. She also worked with Connect Lab throughout the summer, helping children with autism.

Alexa Ortiz, Texas A&M

Ortiz, has worked as an equestrian Summer Camp Counselor and AmplifyU Intern, where she promotes and innovates NIL programs for student-athletes at Texas A&M to help maximize their brand/platform. She serves as Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Vice President of Selfless Service, which helps create volunteer opportunities for student-athletes (increased SA volunteer participation 26% in first semester). Ortiz serves the Boys and Girls Club Student Organization as treasurer and assisted in the creation of the Boys and Girls Club Student Organization at Texas A&M. She is also a member of the NCEA Academic Honor Roll.