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Feb. 14, 2008

Jamie Diamond is a senior from Ocala, Fla., but has missed the majority of her final season with a leg injury. Jamie is a Western rider that has competed in reining in the past. The team’s Community Service Award winner in 2004-05, Jamie recently sat down with to discuss her injury and her plans for after graduation.

Why did you decide on the University of South Carolina?
I came to USC because I loved the atmosphere. I really got along with the girls well on my official visit and loved the campus. It also helped that they had the HRTM major!

What do you like about being a member of the equestrian program?
Not only do I like that we are the National Champions, I also like that it is such a close knit team and we all really get along well and work well as a team.

What’s your most memorable experience at USC?
My most memorable experience was getting our National Championship rings and getting recognized on the field (at a football game). There have been a lot of other experiences that have been really special to me too.

You have missed your senior season so far with a leg injury. How did that injury come about?
I can ride a horse no problem, but obviously I can’t walk down a flight of stairs and dig through my purse to answer my phone at the same time. One wrong step and I am on the bottom of the steps with a broken foot.

How has it made you feel not being able to compete your senior season?
In the beginning it was really hard to know that I wouldn’t be able to compete my last fall here, but I channeled my knowledge into helping run operations during our competitions and supporting my teammates. I really miss being on a horse, but I will be back soon!

What is your major?
I am an HRTM major. Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management.

What do you plan on doing after graduation?
After school I either want to move to Orlando, Fla., and work at Disney while getting my masters in HRTM, or I want to move to Italy to work for a destination wedding planner over there. Either way I will still be riding horses!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to compete in equestrian on a collegiate level?
One of the things that makes Varsity Equestrian different from the regular riding I was used to doing was the fact that you are riding on a team and not just by yourself. Others are counting on you! Also, begin working out before you get to school. Our workouts aren’t easy, and being a step ahead will help you a lot!