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Feb. 2, 2008

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BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – The South Carolina equestrian team won for the 12th consecutive time at One Wood Farm, defeating New Mexico State 15-4 Saturday in the spring season opener. Senior Kristen Terebesi earned MVP honors in equitation on the flat and over fences – her second double-MVP competition this year – to lead the Hunter Seat team to its second sweep of the 2007-08 season.

“I thought we had a really good performance,” head coach Boo Duncan said. “The nice thing about today is we were pretty solid on both sides. The Western team was on and the Hunter Seat team was on. So many times one team is good and the other has issues, so it was nice that both teams seemed to be prepared. I’m very pleased with the outcome.”

The Gamecocks, who have not lost at One Wood Farm since Oct. 21, 2005, enjoyed a strong showing from the Hunter Seat team that went 9-0 on the day. Terebesi and Megan Massaro both registered 90’s for the highest scores of the day, with Rebekah Roof also earning MVP honors in reining. Terebesi recorded a close 90-86 against Meg Keeley to lead equitation over fences while Massaro recorded a 90-78 win in equitation on the flat. Terebesi has earned MVP honors in six of her 13 rides this season, four coming in equitation over fences.

“It’s certainly huge for Kristen,” Duncan said. “She’s such a wonderful rider. She works so hard and is so dedicated. She hasn’t scored as well as she would have liked on the flat so far this season, so it was nice for her to get rewarded. She’s always good over fences so it was a great win for her and for Rebekah Roof. That was the first MVP she ever had. For her to come out with MVP after riding that horse today was a big accomplishment for her. We’re real excited for both of them.”

Other riders for Carolina in equitation over fences were Katie Stenberg, Eleanor Kunsman, Abbey Rohde and Massaro. Stenberg recorded her first win of the season in a 79-75 victory while Rohde, a freshman from Alpharetta, Ga., took an 87-77 decision in her first collegiate ride. Massaro had the largest margin of victory on the day with an 88-68 win over fences with Kunsman not far behind in an 87.5-70 win in Carolina’s last ride of the event.

In equitation on the flat, Terebesi earned MVP honors with an 85-70 victory. Courtney Reese improved to 2-0 on the season with an 80-64 ride while Sarah Stephens recorded an 88-74 win. Freshman Luci Laffitte tied Meg Keeley 76-76.

The Western team won its second consecutive competition, defeating the Aggies 6-4 with Rebekah Roof earning MVP honors in reining. In Horsemanship, Carolina took a 3-2 advantage with winning rides by Allison Bradley, Katie Grossnickle and Hailey Thortnon. Bradley and Grossnickle both scored a 69 to record wins, and Thornton took a 65.5-56.5 win for her largest victory of the season.

The Gamecocks closed the day with a 3-2 win in reining. Roof earned her first MVP honor of the season after riding to a 74-68 win against Breanne Bertrand. Chloe Gray rode to a 75-71 win to improve her record to 4-2-1 with her highest score of the year. Bradley earned a 70-67.5 win against Rachel Krause, a sophomore for New Mexico State that earned MVP honors last weekend against Baylor.

Carolina improves to 4-3 on the season with a 5-3 record in the Hunter Seat and 3-4 in Western. The Gamecocks return home next Saturday, Feb. 9, when they host rival Auburn at One Wood Farm. The competition is scheduled for 10 a.m. and is the last home competition before the Gamecocks host the Southern Equestrian Championships from March 28-29.