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April 16, 2005

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Sante Fe, N.M. – Winning the Hunt Seat Division today with 40 points, the University of South Carolina’s Equestrian team clinched its first national title today in Varsity Equestrian. Overall, South Carolina tallied 60 points to second place University of Georgia’s 51 points (the two-time defending champion). Texas A & M University finished third and Oklahoma State University finished fourth.

South Carolina’s first place finish in the Hunt Seat discipline (40 points) and its fifth place finish in the Western discipline (20 points) clinched the title for the Gamecocks. Competing in Equestrian since 1997, it is the school’s first national title as the Varsity of Equestrian. It is the first year the title has been contested in Varsity Equestrian. Further, USC was the first major school in the country to sponsor Equestrian (in 1997).

The championship was held at The Santa Fe Horse Park in New Mexico’s premier multi-discipline equestrian facility located on the southwest side of Santa Fe.

“This has been an interesting year,” said USC Head Equestrian Coach Boo Major. “We came here thinking we could win the title if things went right and after we competed so well yesterday, last night I thought `We might just be able to do this.'”

“This has been within the teams grasp all year – winning the team title this weekend. But all the ladies needed to show up at the same time at the same competition and they did that this weekend. They rode the best they could have ridden. The Gamecock fans should be proud of this group of young ladies and the way they competed in New Mexico the last few days,” said Major. “It was a tough competition and one where everyone really competed to the best of their ability. Individually, Kristen Terebesi won both her sections in hunt seat and that was a real highlight for us. Tara Brothers efforts were a real plus. On the Western side Allison Bradley shined in winning her Horsemanship section.”

“This is an exciting day for our Equestrian team. I could not be happier for the entire team,” said USC Athletics Director Mike McGee. “They have worked hard this season and certainly the title is the culmination of many people’s efforts throughout the years. A heartful-congratulations goes out to Boo Major, her staff and the entire team. We look forward to welcoming back the national champions to the Columbia.”

In today’s Hunt Seat competition, USC totaled 40 points to Georgia’s 29 as the Gamecocks won the Hunt Seat discipline. Individually, in equitation on the flat, Kristen Terebesi won Section 4. Claire Sharp was the runner-up in equitation on the flat in Section 3. In equitation over fences (section three), Kelley Campbell was third. In Hunt Seat equitation over fences, Section 4, Tara Brothers was the runner-up.

On the Western side today, Allison Bradley won Horsemanship Section 4. Courtney Borton was third in Horsemanship Section 3. Laura Pipkin was fourth in Reining Section 3. Lindsay Williams was sixth in Reining Section 4.

Highlighting Friday’s competition, the Gamecocks finished the Hunt Seat competition with 19 points, while Oklahoma State followed in second place with 14 points. Leading the Gamecocks with impressive performances in Hunt Seat were Kristen Terebesi and Tara Brothers, who won equitation over fences and equitation on the flat, respectively. Kelley Campbell also finished runner-up in the second section of equitation on the flat.

USC riders finished Friday in eighth place in Western, totaling five points, while Oklahoma State ended the competition with 19 points. Western rider Rachel Sternoff led the Gamecocks with a fifth place finish in the first section of reining and sixth place in section one of horsemanship.