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Oct. 23, 2008

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – South Carolina equestrian, ranked No. 4 in the most recent Women’s Intercollegiate Equestrian coaches poll this week, travels to the state of Texas this weekend for a scrimmage against TCU on Friday followed by competitions Saturday and Sunday at No. 6 Baylor and against the No. 10 Horned Frogs.

Carolina will get things going Friday with a scrimmage at TCU. On the Hunter Seat side, Alex Foster, Katie Stenberg and Courtney Reese will ride for the Gamecocks in equitation on the flat while Alex Haskell, Abbey Rohde and LIndsey Pace will compete in equitation over fences. In horsemanship, Stacy Cell, Lydia Roof and Taylor Singmaster will ride for the Gamecocks while Hailey Thornton, Emily Bookwalter and Amy Biffle will compete in reining.

Following the scrimmage in Fort Worth, Carolina will travel to Waco Saturday for a 12 p.m. EST competition against the Bears. The Gamecocks will then return to Fort Worth for a 10 a.m. EST competition to conclude the weekend trip.

“We are looking forward to competing with Baylor and TCU this weekend,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “The scrimmage on Friday with TCU will be a good test for the girls we have chosen to compete.”

In Hunter Seat against Baylor, the Gamecocks will ride Megan Massaro, Victoria Middleton, Carly Babcock, Sarah Stephens and Alex Haskell on the flat. Over fences, Carolina will ride Massaro, Nicole Bourgeois, Eleanor Kunsman, LIndsey Pace and Katie Stenberg. On the Western side, South Carolina will go with Katie Grossnickle, Amy Biffle, Hailey Thornton, Maggie Fortune and Taylor Singmaster in horsemanship. In reining, Chloe Gray, Rebekah Roof, Lydia Roof, Hailey Thornton and Amy Biffle will all ride for the Gamecocks.

“Baylor will be competitive,” Major said. “We have not travelled to their facility before. It will be a new experience for us, which we always welcome.”

Against TCU Sunday, the same riders will compete in equitation on the flat, but Coach Major will use a different lineup in equitation over fences. Alex Foster and Courtney Reese will join Bourgeois, Massaro and Kunsman against the Horned Frogs. On the Western side, Emily Bookwalter is the only difference in horsemanship as she will join Grossnickle, Thornton, Biffle and Fortune. The Gamecocks will stick with the same reining group that they have used all season.

“TCU on Sunday will also be a good test for us,” Major said. “They are the reigning western national champions so we will have our work cut out for us. The team has been practicing well and seem to have put the Auburn loss behind them.”