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Feb. 20, 2010

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Coach Major
Colvin Hedgepeth and Hailey Thornton

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – The fifth-ranked South Carolina equestrian team defeated No. 4 Oklahoma State 10-9 in the Gamecocks’ final home competition of the season at One Wood Farm in Blythewood. The Gamecocks improve to 5-4 on the season, while the Cowgirls fall to 4-3.

“It’s obviously a very big win for us today,” head coach Boo Major said. “With it coming down to the very last ride of the day, that made the competition very exciting. Fortunately, we came out on top and I am extremely proud of our girls today.”

Both teams were tied 9-9 heading into the final ride of the day. After junior Lydia Roof posted a score of 73 for the Gamecocks in Reining, the Cowgirls needed a score of 73.5 or better to win the competition, but Oklahoma State’s Leah Kuehn scored a 72, giving Roof the point and the Gamecocks the 10-9 overall victory.

The Gamecocks’ Western team scored four of Carolina’s ten points, with victories coming from Roof and freshman Amanda Pope in Reining, while junior Hailey Thornton and sophomore Maggie Fortune earned victories in Horsemanship. Fortune was named MVP of the event as she defeated her Oklahoma State opponent 75.5-73, improving her record this season to 6-3. Thornton improved her record in Horsemanship to 7-2.

South Carolina’s Hunter Seat team won 4-1 in equitation, led by senior Carly Babcock’s fourth MVP award in her last five competitions. Bacbcock defeated Oklahoma State’s Sarah Brown 86-85. Babcock is now 7-2 in equitation this season. Also scoring points for the Gamecocks in equitation was senior Alex Haskell, and sophomores Paige Dekko and Colvin Hedgepeth. Hedgepeth scored a 84-77 victory over the Cowgirls’ Ally Blais, who won last years individual national championship in equitation.

In equitation over fences, the Gamecocks got points from freshmen Alex Arute and Kimberly McCormack. McCormack posted an 88-77 victory over Jordan White, earning the freshman her second MVP in the event. McCormack is now 5-1 in equitation over fences.

The Gamecocks won the Hunter Seat competition 6-4 (4-1 win in Equitation, 3-2 loss in Equitation Over Fences) while the Western team fell 5-4 (2-2 tie in Horsemanship, 3-2 loss in Reining).

South Carolina returns to action next Saturday as the Gamecocks travel to Athens, Ga. to compete against No. 1 Georgia.