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Feb. 23, 2008

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ATHENS, Ga. – The South Carolina equestrian team dropped a 14-5 showing against Georgia at the Animal Science Complex Saturday in Athens, Ga. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs split the season series, 1-1, for the second consecutive year as the home team has won the past five contests.

Carolina drops its first competition since October 28 at Kansas State, ending a streak of three consecutive Hunter Seat, Western and overall team wins. USC moves to 5-4 on the season with the Hunter Seat team moving to 6-3 and the Western team to 4-5.

“This was our first road trip of the semester,” head coach Boo Duncan said. “We were a little rusty as far as performing away from home. We had gotten comfortable at home and I don’t think we expected it to come out like this. We’ll be ready to go again next weekend.”

Saturday’s event was a lot different from Carolina’s 11-7 win at One Wood Farm earlier this season. In that win, the Hunter Seat team rode to a 5-3 victory with an MVP performance from Kristen Terebesi and the Western team took a 6-4 decision.

In the rematch at Georgia’s home barn, the Hunter Seat team dropped a 7-2 decision with both wins coming in equitation over fences. Nicole Bourgeois (83-78) and Sarah Stephens (79-60) recorded wins for the Gamecocks, but the equitation on the flat team was shut out 4-0. Alex Haskell rode Georgia’s Daisy Whealan to a 72-72 tie in the event. Stephens is unbeaten in her last five rides, although Saturday marked her first time competing over fences this season.

The Western team dropped a 7-3 decision despite picking up quality wins from Allison Bradley and Katie Grossnickle in horsemanship, along with Rebekah Roof in reining. Bradley’s 76-74.5 win marks her sixth consecutive victory while Grossnickle took a 70-68.5 win. Roof’s win marks her third straight since taking MVP honors against New Mexico State in the spring season opener.

“As a whole we rode well,” Duncan said. “We just had mistakes we need to fix. It seemed like we had to many mistakes that cost us in the long run. Nicole and Sarah rode well over fences and Allison and Katie in horsemanship (also rode well). Rebekah Roof won on a disqualification but I believe she rode well enough to have taken that ride either way. It’s a tough loss for us but you have to congratulate Georgia on a good win.”

The Gamecocks return to action next Saturday when they travel to Fairfield, Conn., for a dual meet against Sacred Heart and Delaware State. They then host the Southern Equestrian Championships at One Wood Farm from March 28-29.