The South Carolina equestrian team fell 9-10 to Auburn in the first round of the Southern Equestrian Championship Friday in Auburn, Ala. South Carolina swept MVP honors for the third time this season with Kelley Campbell (Keysville, Va.) earning the honor in equitation on the flat; Katie Grossnickle (Winona Lake, Ind.) in horsemanship; LIndsey Pace (Camden, S.C.) in equitation over fences; and co-captain Rachel Sternoff (Redmond, Wash.) in reining.
“Auburn was very competitive today and you have to give them a lot of credit,” Head Coach Boo Duncan said. “We made some mistakes today, but hopefully those served as a wake-up to our team as we begin to prepare for Nationals.”
The Hunt Seat team remains perfect on the year with a 12-0 record after the 7-3 victory over the Tigers. Pace scored a division high 83 in equitation over fences. Joining Pace for the Gamecocks in the hunt seat division were Kristen Terebesi (Glenmoore, Pa.), Nicole Bourgeois (Sherwood, Ore.), and Megan Massaro (Summerfield, Fla.) in equitation over fences. In equitation on the flat, Gamecock riders were Sarah Lowe (Augusta, Ga.), Campbell, co-captain Carly Johns (Woodstock, Ga.) and Terebesi. Alternate riders were Sarah Stephens (Chalfont, Pa.) in equitation over fences and Carly Babcock (Deer Harbor, Wash.) in equitation on the flat.
The Western team fell 2-7, with Katy Biffle (Orange Grove, Texas) and Grossnickle earning the only points for South Carolina. The Western team is now 4-7 on the year. Competing in horsemanship were Sternoff, Allison Bradley (Lancaster, Cali.), Grossnickle, and Biffle, and Kristina Papendick (Rapid City, S.D.). In reining, Lindsay Williams (Sands Springs, Okla.) and Rebekah Roof (Lexington, S.C.) joined Sternoff, Bradley, and Biffle for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina will return to action April 18-20 in Waco, Texas where they will be competing in the Varsity Equestrian National Championship for the seventh consecutive year. The Gamecocks took home the title in 2005 and were co-Reserve champions in 2006. The two-time defending national champion Hunt Seat team is the No. 1 seed, while the Western team is the No. 7 seed.