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Nov. 21, 2009

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The fourth-ranked South Carolina equestrian team split its Saturday matches against No. 6 Baylor and No. 9 New Mexico State at the New Mexico State Equestrian Center.

“I’m very proud of the way our girls rode this weekend,” head coach Boo Major said. “We had some really great rides, but we also had several rides with unfortunate mistakes that we couldn’t overcome.”

vs. New Mexico State (South Carolina Wins 8-7)

The Gamecocks (4-3) defeated New Mexico State 8-7 in a competition that featured three South Carolina riders earning MVP honors. Freshman Kimberly McCormack was named MVP in Equitation on the Flat and senior Nicole Bourgeois was named MVP in Equitation Over Fences. Sophomore Taylor Singmaster was named MVP for her ride in the Horsemanship event.

South Carolina’s Hunter Seat team tied the Aggies head-to-head in points, but earned the overall victory because of a tiebreaker.

The Western team defeated the Aggies 4-3. In Horsemanship, the Gamecocks picked up victories from Singmaster and sophomore Maggie Fortune. In Reining, freshman Amanda Pope and junior Lydia Roof won their rides to earn South Carolina the overall victory.

vs. Baylor (Baylor Wins 9-7)

Heading into the conclusion of Saturday’s competition against Baylor, the Gamecocks held a 5-3 advantage after Friday’s events, but the Bears overcame the deficit to earn a 9-7 victory over South Carolina.

In the loss, McCormack earned her second MVP award of the day as the freshman earned the honor against Baylor in Equitation Over Fences. McCormack was the only South Carolina rider to earn a victory in the event against the Bears.

Friday against the Bears, the Gamecocks scored victories from seniors Alex Haskell, Megan Massaro, and Carly Babcock in Equitation on the Flat. Babcock was named MVP of the event, her second consecutive time earning the award. She also was named MVP in South Carolina’s win over Fresno State on Nov. 7.

In Horsemanship, South Carolina got victories from junior Hailey Thornton and sophomore Maggie Fortune. Fortune was named MVP of the event.

In the Reining event, the Gameoccks picked up a victory from junior Chloe Gray.

The Gamecocks are now finished with their fall competition, and return to action on January 30 against Oklahoma State.