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Oct. 2, 2009

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AUBURN, Ala. – The South Carolina equestrian team defeated the Auburn Tigers 12-8 Friday afternoon at the Auburn Equestrian Center to improve to 1-1 on the season. The Hunter Seat team improved to 2-0 as it won 7-3, thanks in part to a 5-0 sweep over the Tigers in the Equitation on the Flat event.

“I’m very proud of our girls today,” head coach Boo Major said. “The difference between today’s victory and when we lost our season opener a few weeks ago is that I felt we were much more prepared this afternoon and I think it showed in the way the girls rode.”

The Gamecocks trailed Auburn 6-4 after the first two events, but rallied in the second half of the day by outscoring the Tigers 8-2 in the final two events to give South Carolina the overall victory.

“Our girls didn’t give up today and they should be very proud of themselves for knowing what they needed to do to win, and then going out and making it happen,” Major said.

South Carolina’s Hunter Seat team defeated Auburn in both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences, with senior Megan Massaro and freshman Kimberly McCormack scoring victories in both events for the Gamecocks.

“Megan has been a solid rider her entire career. She has gotten better every year since she got here, and she’s such a seasoned rider that she doesn’t get bothered by things that would throw off other riders,” Major said. “Kimberly came to our program with a lot of experience and she’s such a smart rider that she understands what it takes to compete at such a high level. She looked beautiful in the jumping event and we’re also proud of her for picking up her second victory of the day on the flat.”

Massaro, McCormack, and Nicole Bourgeois combined to win the Equitation Over Fences event 3-2. In Equitation on the Flat, the Gamecocks swept the Tigers 5-0 with victories from Massaro, McCormack, Colvin Hedgepeth, Alex Haskell, and Carly Babcock. Massaro was named MVP of the Equitation on the Flat event with her 83-80 victory over the Tigers’ Katie Breedlove.

On the Western side, Auburn jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead after the Horsemanship event, with South Carolina’s lone victory coming from Hailey Thornton.

“I feel like our horsemanship riders rode extremely well today,” Major said. “The horses were difficult for some of our girls today, especially Hailey’s horse, but she is a talented rider and proved it by winning for us today.”

But in Reining, the Gamecocks scored victories from Annie McDonald, Chloe Gray, and Lydia Roof to beat the Tigers 3-2. Roof defeated Auburn’s Kristen Hansen 69-66 and was named MVP in Reining.

“We’re all very proud of the reining girls, especially Lydia for picking up her first MVP,” Major said. “She performed an aggressive yet precise ride, and that’s why she won and was chosen MPV.”

The Gamecocks are back in action October 23 when they host the Georgia Bulldogs at 2 p.m. in Blythewood.