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Oct. 6, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina is the team to beat according to the national equestrian coaches. They voted the Gamecocks No. 1 in the inaugural coaches’ poll of the 2009-10 season.

South Carolina earned 41 points in the poll, five ahead of No. 2 Baylor.

A total of 12 points separate the first six teams, one of the closest groupings in the two-year history of the coaches’ poll.

The Gamecocks are 1-1 after last Friday’s 12-8 victory at Auburn. That victory was highlighted by a 5-0 sweep for the Hunter Seat team in the Equitation Over Fences event. Senior Megan Massaro and freshman Kimberly McCormack both scored a pair of victories for South Carolina’s Hunter Seat team as it improved to 2-0 on the season with a 7-3 win. Massaro was named MVP earlier in the day of the Equitation on the Flat event, an 83-80 victory that she scored for the Gamecocks. It was her second MVP honor of the season.

Trailing 6-4 after the first two events on Friday, the Western team sparked the Gamecocks’ comeback with a 3-2 victory in Reining. Sophomore Annie Laurie McDonald and juniors Chloe Gray and Lydia Roof all scored victories for South Carolina, and Roof was named MVP of the Reining event.

The Gamecocks return to action Friday, October 23 when they host Georgia at One Wood Farm in Blythewood. The competition begins at 2 p.m. and admission is free. The collegiate coaches competing under the Varsity Equestrian Championship umbrella initiated the national poll.

The poll will be released bi-monthly with the next announcement scheduled for Oct. 20, 2009.

Women’s Intercollegiate Equestrian National Coaches Poll
Rank Team (Points)
1. South Carolina (41)
2. Baylor (36)
3. Auburn (33)
4. Georgia (32)
5. Texas A&M (31)
6. Oklahoma State (29)
7. Kansas State (23)
8. TCU (19)
9. Fresno State (16)
10. South Dakota State (13)