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June 5, 2008

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – South Carolina sophomore Chloe Gray has qualified to participate in the Collegiate Reining Invitational at the 2008 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Derby, held June 28 at the State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.

Twelve riders from both varsity and non-varsity schools were selected for the Collegiate Reining Championship competition, which is held in conjunction with the NRHA Derby. Four riders were chosen based on performance at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships (VENC), four more were chosen based on performance at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) National Championships, while the final four were selected based on their non-collegiate performance in the sport of reining over the past two years.

Gray was a bright spot for the Western team in reining, tying for the second-most wins on the team with an 8-8-1 record as a freshman. During the regular season, she went 3-1 against SEC rivals Auburn and Georgia and also posted wins against South Dakota State, New Mexico State and Delaware State. Gray was a member of the Southern Equestrian Championships team and competed in the Varsity Equestrian National Championships where she posted victories against Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State.

“Chloe had an outstanding year for our team in reining,” South Carolina Western coach Ruth Sorrel said. “As a freshman to be second on the team in wins only to a senior shows the amount of work she has put in. We’re excited for her that she was chosen to participate at the Derby. This opportunity will only help her progress as a rider.”

As a USEF qualifier, Gray also competed in the 2007 NRHA Adequan Championships. Riding two horses and competing against more than 1,000 entries from Canada, the United States and Mexico, Gray placed 21st and 32nd to become the highest placing Florida native and third-highest placing East region member.