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May 12, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina equestrian team held its postseason banquet where team superlatives and the 2009-010 team captains were announced.

Awards handed out ranged from “Most Team Spirit” to “Most Dedicated” with the team also voting on MVP’s in each of the four riding events. Senior Rebekah Roof was honored with three awards as her performance earned her reining and overall MVP honors in addition to the Grooming Award for the Western team. Roof finished the regular season with seven wins and two MVP rides in reining.

Sophomore Victoria Middleton earned the MVP award for equitation on the flat after going 8-1-1 with three MVP rides in the regular season. Middleton earned the No. 5 national seed at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships and rode all the way to the final, finishing as Reserve Champion in just her second collegiate season. To advance to the final, she defeated No. 4 seed Charlotte Collingsworth of Oklahoma State and No. 8 seed Haylie Jayne of Georgia; she also went 3-0 in team competition at the VENC’s.

Senior Katie Grossnickle was named MVP in horsemanship after going 9-2-1 with four MVP rides in the season. Grossnickle earned the nation’s No. 4 seed at nationals and remained one of the most consistent riders for South Carolina throughout the season.

Junior Nicole Bourgeois was named MVP in equitation over fences after going 7-3 with two MVP rides during the year. Bourgeois earned the nation’s No. 6 seed at nationals.

Junior Carly Babcock earned the Team Spirit award, and senior Courtney Reese picked up awards for Most Improved and Most Dedicated, her second consecutive year winning the Most Dedicated award. Freshman Taylor Singmaster was given the Coaches Award, and junior Amy Biffle picked up the Sportsmanship Award. Junior Eleanor Kunsman was awarded the Grooming Award for the Hunter Seat team.

The team also announced that rising seniors Katie Stenberg and Emily Bookwalter will serve as captains for the 2009-10 season.

Team MVPRebekah Roof, Sr. (Lexington, S.C.)
MVP HorsemanshipKatie Grossnickle, Sr. (Winona Lake, Ind.)
MVP ReiningRebekah Roof, Sr. (Lexington, S.C.)
MVP EquitationVictoria Middleton, Soph. (Marietta, Ga.)
MVP Equitation over FencesNicole Bourgeois, Jr. (Sherwood, Ore.)
Most DedicatedCourtney Reese, Sr. (Tryon, N.C.)
Team SpiritCarly Babcock, Jr. (Deer Harbor, Wash.)
Most ImprovedCourtney Reese, Sr. (Tryon, N.C.)
Grooming Award WesternRebekah Roof, Sr. (Lexington, S.C.)
Grooming Award Hunter SeatEleanor Kunsman, Jr. (Flemington, N.J.)
Coaches AwardTaylor Singmaster, Fr. (Lansdale, Pa.)
Sportsmanship AwardAmy Biffle, Jr. (Orange Grove, Texas)