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Nov. 6, 2009

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Coach Major

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – The South Carolina equestrian team defeated the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks 17-3 this afternoon at One Wood Farm. The Gamecocks improve to 2-2 on the season, and the Skyhawks fall to 0-4.

“I’m very proud of the way our entire team rode today,” head coach Boo Major said. “We had very few mental errors, and in the process of that, we got a lot of new riders that competed today and they all did extremely well. Overall, we’re all totally pleased with the way today went.”

The Hunter Seat team won 9-1 and is now 3-1 on the season. South Carolina swept the Skyhawks 5-0 in Equitation on the Flat. Seniors Megan Massaro (82-66) and Carly Babcock (82-81) won their matches along with sophomores Colvin Hedgepeth (78-54) and Paige Dekko (86-70) and freshman Kimberly McCormack (82-79). Competing in the Flat for the first time this season, Dekko’s 16-point victory earned her MVP for the event.

“I thought our Hunt Seat girls were right on the mark today,” Major said. “Overall, we’re extremely happy with how they rode today in both the Flat and Over Fences. Winning both MVP awards on the Hunt Seat side shows how strong our girls rode today and they should be very proud of themselves.”

In Equitation Over Fences, the Gamecocks were 2.5 points away from another 5-0 sweep over the Skyhawks, settling for a 4-1 win. Freshmen Tilden Brighton and Logan Holler competed for the first time as Gamecocks on Friday, with Brighton picking up a 71-65 victory, and Holler defeating her opponent 67-66. Junior Alex Foster won her ride 65-64, and senior Nicole Bourgeois won MVP of the event with her 86-66 win.

South Carolina’s Western team picked up its first victory of the season as the Gamecocks beat the Skyhawks 8-2. The Gamecocks picked up a pair of 4-1 victories in both Reining and Horsemanship.

“Our Western team should feel fantastic about the way they performed today,” Major said. “For Maggie Fortune and Amanda Pope to sweep the Western MVP’s was fantastic for us. It was just one of those days where we didn’t make a lot of mistakes, and when you don’t make a lot of mistakes, most of the time you come out on top.”

In Reining, freshman Amanda Pope’s 63.5-58.8 victory earned her MVP of the event, with the Gamecocks also picking up wins from juniors Lydia Roof (65-0) and Chloe Gray (64-54) and sophomore Annie McDonald (65-64.5.).

In Horsemanship, senior Emily Bookwalter (73.5-72), junior Hailey Thornton (74-69.5), sophomore Maggie Fortune (72.5-68) and freshman Elizabeth Fagan (69-68) all scored victories for South Carolina. Fagan’s one point win came in her first competition as a Gamecock, and Fortune’s 4.5-point victory earned her MVP for the event.

South Carolina returns to action tomorrow as the Gamecocks host No. 10 Fresno State at 10 a.m. in Blythewood. The equestrian team will also be holding its annual Equi-Fest on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. Admission to One Wood Farm is free and there is no charge to participate in the Equi-Fest activities. Saturday’s Equi-Fest events include:

  • Pony rides
  • Meet & Greet the Equestrian Team
  • 2009-2010 Autographed Posters
  • Make Your Own Stick Horse
  • Pin the Tail on the Donkey
  • Coloring Contest
  • Face Tattoos & T-Shirts

Directions to One Wood Farm

Take I-77 North to Exit 27 (Blythewood Road). Turn left and go approximately one mile. Turn right onto Syrup Mill Road. One Wood Farm is 8/10 of a mile down and is the first driveway on the left.