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Sept. 27, 2003

Columbia, SC – The Women’s Equestrian Team takes the win against a vast collection of schools in both the Western and Hunt Seat competitions this weekend. Clemson University, Berry College, Judson College, Anderson University and Wallace State College were among some of the schools present at the Intercollegiate Meet. The weather was bright and sunny and the Lady Gamecocks came prepared to fight. The girls worked hard together and managed to accumulate enough points in both arenas to come out on top.

In the Equitation Ring, Tara Brothers had an amazing day placing well in her Open Rider flat and jumping classes. She accumulated the second largest amount of points in the Hunters for the meet and was thus named the Reserve High Point Rider for the day. Sophomore Chelsea Koornick was also noted for having a significant pinning day. After placing first in her Intermediate Fences and receiving the seven points for her ribbon, she was awarded the remaining points needed in order to be elevated to the Open Fences class in the next meet. She said that she felt confident about her draw, Stoley, and his consistent stride and that her course had a nice flow to it. Chelsea is really excited about her new promotion, and is especially proud because she was able to accomplish this feat in a little over one season. She is a little nervous about the harder courses and higher fence, but she feels that she is ready for a new challenge. It was a close call up until the end where the Hunter ladies closed out the day with a 2 point lead over Berry College and a final score of 32 points.

The riders in the Western Ring had just as a successful day. Rachel Sternoff rode well, placing first in her Reining Horsemanship class and second in the Open Western Horsemanship class. Her accumulated points for the day won her High Point Rider in the Western Ring. Each and every one of the Western ladies put out a great ride and their combined efforts won them the day with a seven point lead. New freshman members of the team, Elizabeth Briley and Rachel Sternoff, had a few thoughts to share. They both enjoyed the extra added challenge of being able to get on a horse without knowing anything about it and then going straight into the show arena for their class. They felt motivated to ride well not only for themselves but for the team as well. Both girls talked about how it was a new and different feeling to be competing as part of a team in a sport that is almost always individualized. They did agree, however, that the team support was truly awesome all day long and that it made everything come together in the end.

Coach Duncan was particularly pleased that the team did so well being that it was their first show and a home meet. She stated that traditionally the girls do not compete as well on their own turf because of all the hard work and stress that goes into putting on one of these shows. But she is really proud of her team because they were able to pull through together and that all their hard work paid off. Coach Humphrey was also pleased with the way everyone rode and all of their hard work and efforts. He said that the riders made good use of their ring space and rode their horses smartly. Congratulations to the Lady Gamecocks for their first win of the season. Their next competition will be held on October 3 in Athens, Georgia.