April 12, 2005
The USC Equestrian team will travel to Santa Fe, N.M. to compete against 11 schools for the national title in the Varsity Equestrian Championships on April 15 – 16. The competition will be hosted by New Mexico State University at the Santa Fe Horse Park.
Heading into the national championships, the Gamecocks are coming off a strong second place finish in the Southern Equestrian Championships. Falling behind Georgia, but besting Auburn, the Gamecocks feel confident in their ability.
“Our girls are prepared and up for this championship. We look forward to the competition and a good finish,” said Head Coach Boo Duncan.
A total of 12 riders will be competing in this weekend’s national championship. Competing in Horsemanship will be Katy Biffle, Allison Bradley, Courtney Borton and Rachel Sternoff. In Reining, Rachel Sternoff, Lindsey Williams, Laura Pipkin, and Katy Biffle will ride. Representing USC in Equitation are Tara Brothers, Kristen Terebesi, Chelsea Koornick, and Kelley Campbell. Jumping for the Gamecocks are Tara Brothers, Kristen Terebesi, Chelsea Koornick and Kelley Campbell.
Competing against the Gamecocks will be 11 of the top equestrian programs in the country. The competition is stiff, but the Gamecocks refuse to be unsettled.
“We’re not real sure what to expect as far as hunt seat horses are concerned so we have concentrated on riding a variety of horses in a variety of situations. I feel confident that the western horses will be of a high caliber so we have worked a lot on position, control and accuracy in both reining and horsemanship. In hunt seat I believe Georgia will be our toughest competition and in western, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M will be the teams to beat. Overall, I think Georgia is the team to beat again this year,” states Duncan.
Defending the national title is undefeated University of Georgia. Entering the competition with an 11-0 (4-0 SEC) record and the 2005 SEC Championship title, the Georgia Bulldogs will be an intimidating force in the ring.
Also traveling from the SEC is Auburn University who recently placed third behind Georgia and South Carolina in the Southern Equestrian Championships but are not out of the race for the national title. Auburn will rematch against USC and UGA in New Mexico.
The University of California Fresno State, Pace University, Sacred Heart University, Texas A&M, Fresno State, Kansas State, South Methodist University, Oklahoma State, and West Texas A&M will be present as well as the hosting school of New Mexico State. All 12 schools will be competing for English team, Western team and overall team championship titles.
Results will be available following the competition at www.uscsports.com.