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April 18, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina Equestrian team Western Division edges Texas Christian University 5-3 in the opening round of the Varsity Equestrian National Championship being held at Baylor University. The Western team defeated the Horned Frogs 3-1 in the reining portion of the competition, and tying TCU 2-2 in the horsemanship competition. With the win, the Western team improved to 5-7 on the year.

“I am extremely proud of the way out Western riders performed today,” head coach Boo Duncan said. “They rode extremely well today and hopefully will continue to do so tomorrow as they finish the competition against Georgia.”

In the reining competition, senior co-captain Rachel Sternoff (Redmond, Wash.) defeated Jessica Bailey 139.5-139, while junior Allison Bradley (Lancaster, Cali.) won 136-130 over TCU’s Chloe Baker. Sophomore Rebekah Roof (Lexington, S.C.) rode to a 144-133 victory over Kindel Huffman. Also riding for the Gamecocks in the reining division was junior Lindsey Williams (Sand Springs, Okla.) who fell to TCU’s Carrie von Uhlit 145.5-147.

In Horsemanship, the Gamecocks tied the Horned Frogs 2-2, but won the competition with a raw score of 576.5-571.5. Sternoff secured her second win of the day, defeating Chloe Baker 145-140, while Bradley improved to 2-0 on the day with a win over TCU’s Nicole Barnes with a score of 143.5-141.5. Sophomore Katie Grossnickle (Winona Lake, Ind.) and junior Katy Biffle (Orange Grove, Texas) fell to their opponents 145-146.5 and 144.5-146.5 respectively.

With the win over TCU the Western team advances to the second round of the VENC’s where they will face SEC rival Georgia. After completion of the reining portion of the competition, the Gamecocks are tied 2-2 with the Bulldogs, with Roof and Bradley defeating their opponents 145-136.5 and 140.5-131. Sternoff and Williams fell to their opponents 118-139.5 and 141.5-145.5 respectively in round two. USC will begin the horsemanship portion of round two tomorrow.

After the first round bye in the Hunt Seat division, the No. 1 seed Gamecocks faced Fresno State, who defeated UT-Martin in Round One, in equitation over fences. South Carolina, who came into the competition as the only undefeated team in the nation, defeated Fresno State 3-1, with Nicole Bourgeois (Sherwood, Ore.), Kristen Terebesi (Glenmoore, Pa.), and LIndsey Pace (Camden, S.C.) all earning wins over their opponents. Megan Massaro fell to her opponent. The Gamecocks will continue their competition tomorrow against the Bulldogs of Fresno State in equitation over fences.

The action will continue tomorrow as the Hunt Seat team finishes their competition with Fresno State, while the Western team takes on the Georgia Bulldogs.