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April 25, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina equestrian team finished sixth this weekend at the Varsity Equestrian Championships held in Conyers, Ga. This two-day Southeastern Conference (SEC) competition showcased the talents of twelve teams from across the country. The Georgia Bulldogs won the competition with a total of 60 points; the Auburn Tigers had a second place score of 49 points. The Gamecocks rounded out the competition with a final total of 27 points, good enough for a sixth place finish.

In day one of the Hunt Seat competition, riders were divided into four groups of twelve riders apiece to compete in the equitation portion of the competition. In group A, Laura O’Sullivan place eighth. Teammates Sarah Lowe, and Caitlin Sands each also placed eighth in each of their sections. Co-Captain Tara Brothers won her section, leading the Gamecocks in Hunt Seat points for the day. At the end of Friday’s competition Carolina received 7 points putting them in a tie for sixth-place with Oklahoma State.

In day two of Hunt Seat Competition, Brothers placed eighth in her section for Equitation over Fences. Chelsea Koornick represented USC with her fourth-place finish. Freshman Dana Hancock claimed victory for the Gamecocks when she placed first in the final section of Hunt Seat over Fences. The final standings for the Gamecocks in Hunt Seat was a sixth-place overall finish with a cumulative score of 17 points.

On day one in Western Horsemanship, Elizabeth Briley placed sixth, and Courtney Borton was awarded reserve. Rachel Sternoff took the top call winning her section for the Gamecocks. At the end of the day, Carolina was in fifth with a score of 8 points.

Day two of competition, Reining rider Sternoff received a reserve in section A. Teammates Laura Pipkin and Briley each won sixth-place for each of their rides. The Gamecocks finished with a total of 10 points which put them in a tie for seventh place with West Texas A&M.

The Gamecocks’ next competition will be held May 7-9. They will travel to Murfreesboro, Tenn. where they will compete in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Nationals.