Pilla to ride for Georgia equestrian team

Ridgefield resident Sophia Pilla will compete for the University of Georgia women's equestrian team. - Contributed photo
Ridgefield resident Sophia Pilla will compete for the University of Georgia women's equestrian team. — Contributed photo

Ridgefield resident Sophia Pilla has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Georgia and compete on the women's equestrian team.

Pilla, a senior at Immaculate High School in Danbury, is one of 11 riders who have committed to Georgia, a perennial power that has won a record six NCAA Division I championships.

Pilla's résumé includes top finishes in the equitation, hunters, and jumpers divisions at premier shows across the country, including the Washington (D.C.) International Horse Show and the National Horse Show in Kentucky.

In 2018, she won the Overall Washington Equitation in Lake Placid (N.Y.) and the Maclay in Wellington (Fla.), which qualified Pilla to compete in the George Morris Equitation Championship. Pilla also won multiple titles in the Junior Jumpers in 2018, qualifying for the US Jumper Championship in Washington, where she finished second in the speed round.

Pilla finished in the top 25 at the USEF Medal Finals in 2017 and was fourth and 12th at the Zone 1 Maclay Regionals in 2016 and 2017, respectively. She was also a two-time national champion in the Junior Hunters at Devon (PA) in 2015.

"Sophia has many accomplishments in the equitation and jumpers that will most definitely set her up for success in college riding," Georgia assistant coach Anna Becker said in a press statement. "She has had top finishes at indoor finals, as well as top shows across the east coast. Her hard work in the show ring and in the classroom will definitely shine here right away.”

Pilla recently won the $10,000 Junior Jumper Classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington. She rode to a double-clear round, besting the field by a second over the jump-off course.

Pilla, who has a 4.7 GPA at Immaculate, has been accepted into the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at Georgia. She plans to major in biological science.

Notes: Georgia is the two-time defending SEC (Southeastern Conference) champion and has won three titles in the last four years.

The Bulldogs' most recent national championship came in 2014.