Nov. 7, 2008
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – South Carolina equestrian hits the road again after two weeks off when the team travels to Georgia Saturday in the fall season finale. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs are scheduled to begin competition at 10 a.m. in Athens at the Animal Science Complex.
Both teams are looking to return to the winning ranks with both coming off losses in their last rides. Carolina dropped a 12-7 decision at TCU on October 26 while Georgia dropped a 12-5 decision at Auburn on October 18. The loss was the first of the season for Georgia (3-1) while Carolina enters with a 1-3 overall record.
The two teams split competition last season as Carolina rode to an 11-7 victory at home in the fall before dropping a 14-5 ride in Athens. Georgia has not lost a home competition in four years and is currently 2-0 at the Animal Science Complex this year.
“It is always difficult to travel to Georgia to compete with them on their home turf,” Head Coach Boo Major said. “We have had victories there before in one discipline or the other, but we have never won overall there so we have a challenge ahead. If we ride well and stay focused we have the ability to be the first team to ever defeat Georgia on their home turf. We look forward to the challenge.”
In Hunter Seat, Carolina will ride senior Sarah Stephens, juniors Carly Babcock and Megan Massaro, sophomore Victoria Middleton and freshman Rachel Koggan in equitation on the flat. In equitation over fences, the Gamecocks will ride Stephens, Massaro, Koggan, junior Nicole Bourgeois and freshman Paige Dekko.
On the Western side, South Carolina will go with senior Katie Grossnickle, juniors Amy Biffle and Emily Bookwalter, sophomore Hailey Thornton and freshman Maggie Fortune. Carolina will stick with the same lineup in reining that they used in their last competition with Chloe Gray, Rebekah Roof, Lydia Roof, Hailey Thornton and Amy Biffle will all riding for the Gamecocks.
Four Gamecocks will also give exhibition rides Saturday, one riding in each event. Freshmen Taylor Singmaster and Annie Laurie McDonald will give exhibitions in horsemanship and reining, respectively. Freshman Colvin Hedgepeth will ride in equitation on the flat while sophomore Abbey Rohde will ride in equitation over fences.