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Sept. 25, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina freshmen equestrians Sara Green and Alex Arute competed at the Maclay Regionals this past weekend in North Salem, N.Y. as they looked qualify for the prestigious Maclay Finals. Both riders were able to place in the top-30, giving them an opportunity to compete in the finals in November.

The Maclay Finals is considered one of the most competitive horse shows for hunt seat equitation riders since all riders must qualify in advance to compete.

“It is a great honor to qualify at the Maclay Finals,” said head equestrian coach Boo Major. “We are so proud of Sara and Alex for qualifying. They are two very talented riders and we’re all excited about their opportunity. They are going to have a lot of competition, but Alex and Sara have shown during their junior careers that they can compete at the highest level.”

There are two phases- one over fences and one flat phase. Riders are judged on their ability to control and present their horse in the show ring.

The Maclay Finals is also one of the most popular horse shows in the equestrian world. In 2005, Animal Planet aired a series titled, “Horse Power: Road to the Maclay” where riders were filmed during training.

Green and Arute will travel to Syracuse, N.Y. on Oct. 31 this year to compete against some of the nations top riders in the finals.

Green, a freshman from Sherborn, Mass. competes in the equitation on the flat and equitation over fences events. In 2008, she placed eighth at the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Equitation Medal finals in addition to taking 11th overall at the WIHS Equitation Finals. In 2007, she was named USET Vermont Circuit Equitation champion.

Arute, a freshman from Avon, Conn. also competes in the equitation on the flat and equitation over fences events for the Gamecocks. She qualified for the 2008 USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and was ranked eighth overall in the Bates Equitation Rankings with an eighth place ranking in the USEF High Junior Jumpers category and sixth place ranking in Junior Jumper wins.