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March 12, 2005

The USC Equestrian team was defeated by Fresno State University by a score of 779 to 737 in Fresno, California on Friday, March 11. The South Carolina hunt seat team had a solid performance defeating Fresno’s hunt seat team by 58 points. USC’s western team, however, had two riders disqualified for errors they committed during the competition. The western team lost to Fresno by 101 points.

Junior Chelsea Koornick led the Gamecocks in equitation over fences by defeating Katie Frost from Fresno by 29 points. Junior Tara Brothers defeated her opponent over fences by 4. Sophomore Sarah Lowe defeated her opponent, Amy Simmons, by 14 in equitation to lead the Gamecocks in scoring in that division. The hunt seat team consisting of Koornick, Lowe, Tara Brothers and Kristen Terebesi defeated all four of their Fresno counterparts in Equitation. In horsemanship, freshman Michelle Grah led all competitors in point spread scoring by defeating her opponent, Beth Knapp by 10 points. Sophomore Rachel Sternoff tied her opposition as well. Junior Laura Pipkin defeated Beth Knapp in reining by 2.

The disqualifications in western were due to a technical error by senior Kerrie Reeves in reining and a mental error from freshman Allison Bradley in horsemanship. Reeves used her free hand to shorten her Romel reins which is against the rules in varsity competition. Freshman Allison Bradley was disqualified for going off pattern in her horsemanship test.

“We had the opportunity to win this competition. It is almost impossible to recover from one disqualification, let alone two.” Coach Duncan said. “As a whole, our girls rode well. We just have to learn to overcome the mental errors we are experiencing. This late in the season, those errors should not be there. There will always be mental errors, we just have to learn to avoid the major ones. We’ll be back in practice on Monday working on a game plan for College of Charleston.”

The College of Charleston comes to USC March 19 for a hunt seat only competition at One Wood Farm in Blythewood. Competition time is 1 PM.