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Jan. 30, 2008

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BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – South Carolina equestrian returns to One Wood Farm to open the spring season, hosting New Mexico State at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 in Blythewood. The competition is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m.

Carolina enters the spring season after posting a split 3-3 record in the fall. Their last competition was a convincing 11-7 win against rival Georgia on Nov. 3 at One Wood Farm, led by senior captain Kristen Terebesi who posted 21 point victories in both equitation on the flat and equitation over fences.

New Mexico State enters with a 4-1 record, their lone setback coming to last year’s national runner-up Texas A&M. They are coming of an 11-8 win over Baylor (8-1 Western; 3-7 Hunter Seat), led by Rachel Kraus who earned MVP honors in reining.

“The girls have been working hard these last few weeks in preparation for New Mexico State,” head coach Boo Duncan said. “We have had a few girls sick with a virus that is going around but they are working through it. This will be New Mexico State’s first visit to USC and we know they will come ready to compete. We had a close meet with them last year at their facility and came out on top. We are hoping for the same outcome at our home facility on Saturday.”

On the Hunter Seat side, riding in equitation will be Sarah Stephens (2-1-1), Luci Laffitte (0-0-1), Courtney Reese (1-0), Megan Massaro (1-2) and Terebesi (2-3). Equitation over fences will feature Terebesi (5-1), Massaro (3-2), Eleanor Kunsman (2-1-1), Katie Stenberg (0-2) and Abbey Rohde, a freshman from Alpharetta, Ga., taking her first collegiate ride. Massaro has picked up two MVP honors this season while Terebesi is averaging a score of 82.50 and has earned three MVP honors over fences, giving the duo five of six possible MVP’s this season.

On the Western side, riding in horsemanship will be Allison Bradley (3-4), Katie Grossnickle (3-3), Amy Biffle (4-2), Michelle Grah (1-0) and Hailey Thornton (1-4). Reining will feature Bradley (3-2), Lindsay Williams (1-4), Chloe Gray (3-2-1), Kyla Thurlow (2-4) and Rebekah Roof (1-4). Grossnickle has helped lead the Western team, having dropped three rides by a combined two points. Bradley and Thurlow hold the disciplines only MVP honors.

The Gamecocks and Aggies met for the first time last season in Las Cruces, N.M., with Carolina taking an 11-8 victory. In the Western discipline, the two teams tied in horsemanship (2-2) before Carolina edged out the victory with a 3-2 showing in reining. In Hunter Seat, the Aggies prevailed 3-2 in equitation over fences. However, Carolina took an impressive 4-1 lead in equitation on the flat, led by Terebesi’s 90-39 win, to take the 6-4 victory.

Carolina will return to action Saturday, Feb. 9, when it hosts rival Auburn at One Wood Farm. The competition will be the last home competition for the Gamecocks before hosting the Southern Equestrian Championships from March 28-29.