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Feb. 26, 2010

Coach Major

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The fifth-ranked Gamecock equestrian team will travel to Bishop, Ga. Saturday to compete against the top-ranked Georgia Bulldogs. The competition is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the UGA Equestrian Complex in Bishop, Ga., which is approximately 12 miles from the University of Georgia campus.

“We’re going against a very strong Georgia team this weekend,” head coach Boo Major said. “They’re very talented on both the Hunter Seat and Western teams, so we know what we are up against.”

The Gamecocks are 5-4 after last weekend’s 10-9 victory over No. 4 Oklahoma State, while the Bulldogs are 7-1 and coming off a 17-3 victory over New Mexico State.

In Equitation, seniors Carly Babcock and Alex Haskell will lead the Gamecocks’ lineup, and they will be joined by sophomores Paige Dekko and Colvin Hedgepeth, and freshman Kimberly McCormack. Haskell has a 7-1 record in the event this season, and Babcock has seven wins as well and has earned MVP honors in four of her last five competitions.

In Equitation Over Fences, McCormack will remain in the lineup for the Gamecocks. Joining her will be seniors Nicole Bourgeois and Eleanor Kunsman, sophomore Carolyn Curcio and freshman Alex Arute. Curcio will competing for the first time as a Gamecock after transferring to South Carolina from Drew University. In Last weekend’s victory over the Cowgirls, Arute and McCormack both won their rides, with McCormack picking up her second MVP honor.

In Horsemanship, seniors Emily Bookwalter and Amy Biffle will lead the Gamecocks on Saturday, and they will be joined by junior Hailey Thornton, and sophomores Taylor Singmaster and Maggie Fortune. Thornton and Fortune won their rides last weekend against Oklahoma State, with Fortune earning MVP honors for the third time this season.

In Reining, the Gamecocks will compete juniors Lydia Roof and Chloe Gray, sophomore Annie McDonald, and freshmen Amanda Pope and Audrey Jewell. Pope and Roof both scored points in South Carolina’s victory over Oklahoma State last Saturday, with Roof’s one-point victory in the final ride of the day that secured the Gamecock victory.