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Oct. 25, 2008

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WACO, Texas – The South Carolina equestrian team dropped a 15-5 decision to Baylor in Carolina’s first visit to the Willis Family Equestrian Center. The win was the first for Baylor in three tries against the Gamecocks. Sarah Stephens was Carolina’s lone MVP rider, taking home honors in equitation on the flat.

“We were lacking some confidence in a lot of areas today,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “There were some mental errors as well. We did have some bright spots. Sarah Stephens winning MVP was great and three of our five flat riders scored in the 90’s.”

Baylor took a 7-3 decision in Hunter Seat despite Carolina holding a 3-2 edge in equitation on the flat. Stephens, Megan Massaro and Carly Babcock all posted scores higher than 90 to lead Carolina with Massaro’s 93-79 victory marking the high score of the day for any rider. Stephens rode to a 91-72 victory against Margaret Beaudoin while Babcock held on for a 91-85 edge against Shelby White.

Despite a strong opening on the flat, Carolina dropped all five points in equitation over fences in a day that was abnormal for the three-time Hunter Seat national championship team. Nicole Bourgeois had Carolina’s high-ride of the event with a 75.

Baylor also took win in Western with an 8-2 edge at the end of the day. Katie Grossnickle was the only Gamecock to register a win in horsemanship, and Lydia Roof had Carolina’s lone win in reining. All of the horsemanship rides were close with two rides decided by one point or less – Maggie Fortune in a 72-72.5 ride and Amy Biffle in a 72.5-73.5 ride – while no rider fell by more than three points. Grossnickle defeated Allison Orosz 70.5-69.5.

Roof rode to a 70.5-68 victory in reining to give Carolina its final point of the day. The Gamecocks are now 1-2 in the Hunter Seat, 1-2 in Western, and 1-2 overall. Carolina competes tomorrow morning at TCU to conclude their Texas road trip.

Lydia Roof had a great reining ride and Katie Grossnickle had her usual solid ride in horsemanship,” Major said. “We don’t have time to mull over it too much because we have to get it together for TCU tomorrow. Hopefully, tomorrow will have a better outcome.”