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Oct. 10, 2008

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – With the South Carolina equestrian team off until a trip to Baylor on Oct. 25, six members of the team will compete as individuals in the coming weeks at various highly regarded competitions across the country.

Freshmen Paige Dekko (Naples, Fla.) and Rachel Koggan (Montclair, N.J.) will both compete Saturday at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pa. Dekko has qualified her horse, Mr. Coffee, as one of 33 riders accepted into the Large Junior Hunters division. Dekko has also already qualified for the United State Equestrian Federation (USEF) Medal Finals in Large Junior Hunters and currently stands 16th nationally with 3371 points on Mr. Coffee through 22 competitions. Koggan has qualified her horse, Farwell, as one of 31 riders accepted into the Small Junior Hunter division.

Sophomores Chloe Gray and Lydia Roof will compete this weekend as well at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. Gray and Roof will both compete in reining events. Next weekend, freshman Maggie Fortune and sophomore Hailey Thornton, horsemanship riders at Carolina, will also compete at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, an event that runs from Oct. 5 to Oct. 26.

“It is great to have these girls qualifying and competing in national competitions,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “It shows the caliber of equestrian’s we are recruiting. We wish them all the best of luck in the coming weeks.”

The All-American Quarter Horse Congress is the World’s Largest Single-Breed Horse Show. The show receives more than 17,000 horse show entries and will house more than 8,500 registered American Quarter Horses during its three-week schedule.