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July 1, 2008

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – South Carolina rising sophomore Chloe Gray competed in the 2008 Collegiate Reining Championship Saturday at the State Fair Arena and placed seventh overall in the prestigious event hosted by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA).

Gray (Tampa, Fla.), one of only 12 collegians invited to attend the championships, scored a 215.00 to earn seventh place at the championships. Riding “LC Spinnin Chic” (owned by David Leithead), Gray came within five points of the first place finisher in her first time competing at the Derby. At the championships, riders are given five minutes to familiarize themselves with an unknown horse before competing. Oklahoma State’s Leah Kuehn won the championships with a score of 220.00.

The top 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 Gamecock 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 Kuehn of Oklahoma State.