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April 20, 2006

Albuquerque, N.M. – The South Carolina equestrian team will defend its national title this week at the Varsity Equestrian Championships, April 20-22 in Albuquerque, N.M. The Gamecocks’s hunt seat team is enters as the No. 2 seed, right behind SEC opponent Georgia, while the western team is the No. 6 seed. USC will open against No. 4 Oklahoma State. The hunt team will have a bye in the first round and will face the winner of No. 7 Sacred Heart vs. No. 10 Baylor. South Carolina won the title last year with its hunt team also winning the event title.

“Coming in as the No. 2 seed in hunt and No. 6 in western, we are in good positions,” said head coach Boo Duncan. “The format is different from last year so it will be interesting to see how everything pans out. I think both of our teams can finish top five, even though we are more short handed on the western side.”

Competing for the Gamecocks in equitation are Kristen Terebesi (So.), Kelley Campbell (Jr.), Sarah Lowe (Jr.), Carly Johns (Jr.) and 2005 equitation winner, Tara Brothers (Sr.). In over fences, Campbell, LIndsey Pace (Fr.), Terebesi and Brothers, who finished second at nationals last year in this event.

On the western side, Allison Bradley (So.), Katy Biffle (So.), Katie Grossnickle (Fr.), Rachel Sternoff (Jr.) and Courtney Borton (Sr.) will compete in horsemanship. In the reining category, Laura Pipkin (Sr.), Sternoff, Lindsay Williams (So.) and Biffle make up the lineup.

The format for both teams is a bracket format. In the hunt seat, finishes will be for 1st-7th-place and in the western bracket, finishes will be for 1st-5th place.