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Dec. 23, 2005

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina equestrian team announced the commitments of four signees for the 2006 class. Head coach Boo Duncan received signed letters of intent from western riders Amy Biffle and Emily Bookwalter, and hunt seat riders Alex Haskell and Megan Massaro.

Biffle, the 2002 Texas Quarter Horse Youth Association All-Around Champion, is from Orange Grove, Texas and attends Gregory-Portland H.S. Biffle was the 2000 and 2002 Congress Champion in Trail and is a five-time national qualifier for Youth World. She has acquired superiors in Open Trail, Youth Trail and Horsemanship. She was a State qualifier for Youth World’s in 2001 and 2003 in Western riding and 2002 in Horsemanship. She also had three top ten finishes at Youth World in trail.

Bookwalter hails from Fillmore, Ind. and attends South Putnam Jr./Sr. H.S. Bookwalter has five top ten finishes at the Quarter Horse Congress in Western Pleasure, Horsemanship and Trail. She is also a three-time qualifier for the Quarter Horse Youth World in Western Pleasure, Horsemanship and Trail. A member of three varsity sports teams (cross country, tennis and swimming), Bookwalter has a strong academic background with a current 3.98 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Roll and is an All-American Scholar. She is also the recipient of the USAA International Foreign Language Award, USAA National History and Government Award, USAA National Achievement Academy Award, Who’s Who Among American High School Students and National Honor Society.

Haskell is a USEF national finalist Medal equitation rider and a national finalist Maclay equitation rider. The Cincinnati, Ohio native is ranked among the top 100 U.S. riders on the Bates Equitation ranking list. This fall, Haskell was awarded Reserve Champion in Zone V Horsemanship at the Kentucky National. A senior at Indian Hill H.S. in Cincinnati, she was one of only 16 riders in the country this year to win the Champion or Reserve honor in horsemanship at the Kentucky National. Throughout her amateur career, Haskell has won at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, Washington International Horse Show and Capital Challenge. She has also received regional awards such as High Point Junior Rider for both the Ohio Hunter Jumper Association and Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association and has been named Kentucky Equitation Champion and Kentucky Medal Finals Champion.

A native of Ocala, Fla., Massaro attends Belleview H.S. where she has been a four-year member on the Honor Roll. Most recently, she was named the 2005 Circuit Champion- HITS for Ocala, Fla., Culpepper, Va., and Saugerties, N.Y. She won the Junior Hunter Finals at the Washington Equitation Finals, and she competed in the Pessoa/USEF Medal Finals in Harrisburg, Pa. Massaro placed 10th overall in the Washington Equitation Finals in Washington D.C. and was the winner of the 2005 USEF National Medium Green Pony of the Year award.

Other accomplishments include finishing third at the 2004 Show Circuit Magazine competition, along with placing in the Children’s Medal Finals at the Capital Challenge Horse Show. She was the Central Florida Hunter Jumper Association (CFHJA) Year End Champion Large Pony Hunter and is a past winner of the USEF Pony Medal Championship. In 2002, Massaro was named the winner of the USEF Horsefeathers Sportsmanship award at pony finals in Lexington, Ky. Massaro is also a member of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) where she currently serves as secretary.