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April 22, 2006

Albuquerque, N.M. – South Carolina’s equestrian hunt seat team continued its streak of excellence as the Gamecocks defeated the Auburn Tigers for the 2006 Hunt Seat National Title at the Varsity Equestrian Championships Saturday afternoon in Albuquerque, N.M. USC claimed victory by an impressive 53 points and posted a score of 906-853 for their second consecutive national title. As an entire equestrian team, South Carolina tied with Oklahoma State for second and was named Co-Reserve Champions.

“The girls rode beautifully today,” said head coach Boo Duncan. “Auburn is a very good opponent and we knew that coming in. Everyone worked together as a team and took care of what they needed to take care of. We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished, not only as a hunt seat team, but what the team overall achieved with the Co-Reserve title.”

Auburn claimed the overall national champion title as they finished second in hunt seat and in western. Oklahoma State won the Western National Title as they defeated Auburn 851-847. South Carolina’s western team lost in the first round to OSU and was eliminated in round two by Kansas State.

In equitation on the flat, USC earned victories from Sara Lowe, Tara Brothers and Kelley Campbell. Lowe defeated Natalie Burton 148-136 and recorded the high score in the category. Brothers defeated Erin Gaddy 141-126, and Campbell beat Jennie Reinhart 134-131. Kristen Terebesi fell to Maggie White 148-118 but made a huge turn around in over fences as she was beat Cassie McEnroe 160-75 in that event. Lindsay Pace was the high scorer for the competition as she posted a 170-156 over Lauren Huelen. Brothers lost a close matchup to Kelly Gottfried, 156-153, the closest of the category.

With the win, USC continues the streak of a Southeastern team claiming the Hunt Seat title. Georgia won it for three straight years (2002, 2003, 2004), and South Carolina won in 2005 and 2006. With Auburn winning the overall title, a Southeastern team has now won the last four titles.

Despite not advancing in the Western bracket, USC did earn accolades with one of its riders. Junior Rachel Sternoff was selected as one of the top four reining riders in the country and will now compete at the Intercollegiate Individual Reining Championships in May in Oklahoma City. The event will be held at the Reining Derby, one of the top competitions for western reiners in the country.

2006 Varsity Equestrian Championships – Final Results

2006 VENC Overall Results
1. Auburn – Overall National Champion (30)
t2. Oklahoma State – Co-Reserve (21)
t2. South Carolina – Co-Reserve (21)
4. Georgia (16)
5. Texas A&M (13)
6. New Mexico State (9)

2006 VENC Western Results
1. Oklahoma State – National Champion
2. Auburn
3. Texas A&M
4. Georgia
5. New Mexico State
6. Kansas State

2006 VENC Hunt Seat Results
1. South Carolina – National Champion
2. Auburn
3. Georgia
4. New Mexico State
5. Texas A&M
6. Kansas State
7. Oklahoma State
8. Baylor