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March 30, 2010

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Carly Babcock and Nicole Bourgeois

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina seniors Carly Babcock and Nicole Bourgeois earned individual seeds for the 2010 Varsity Equestrian National Championships, which will take place April 15-17 at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Babcock is one of eight riders who were selected to compete in the individual bracket for Equitation, while Bourgeois is one of eight riders who were selected to compete in the individual bracket for Equitation Over Fences.

“We are so excited to have both Carly and Nicole representing South Carolina in the individual championships in Waco this year,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “Both were chosen last year and represented us well. I’m sure they will do the same this year. It is very gratifying to have the hard work of our seniors pay off by these two getting into the individual championships.”

Babcock, a senior from Deer Harbor, Wash., is 8-4 this season in Equitation. Babcock leads the Gamecocks with five MVP honors this season. Babcock is No. 4 seed in the Equitation bracket, and will compete against No. 5 seed Elizabeth Solch in the opening round of the tournament. Solch is a sophomore at Texas A&M.

“Carly once again has proven to be a very consistent performer on the flat. She really came on strong this spring winning almost every MVP on the flat that she competed in,” Major said. “Being in the individual championships again this year was a personal goal that Carly set for herself and I am glad to see her achieve it. She has what it takes to win the whole thing.”

In Equitation Over Fences, Nicole Bourgeois is the No. 5 seed and will compete against No. 4 seed Emma Lipman in the first round of the tournament. Lipman is a sophomore at the University of Georgia. Bourgeois, a senior from Sherwood, Ore., has been one of the top riders for South Carolina this season, posting a 6-2 record, while adding three MVP honors. Bourgeois was one of 16 collegiate riders that were invited to compete at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Bourgeois finished in second place.

“Nicole has proven once again that she is a competitor in Equitation over Fences. She has quietly managed to win several MVPs and the vast majority of her fences rides this year,” Major said. “Her calm and steady demeanor has helped her to achieve this goal. After finishing second at the Intercollegiate Jumping Championship in February, I expect her to do well as an individual and team member in Waco.”

Bourgeois and Babcock will also compete for the Gamecocks’ Hunter Seat team at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships.