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Sept. 25, 2010

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Coach Major
Hailey Thornton

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – A 7-3 win by the Hunt Seat team along with a 5-4 victory by the Western team fueled South Carolina’s equestrian team on Saturday, as the Gamecocks defeated South Dakota State 12-7 at One Wood Farm in Blythewood. The Gamecocks improved to 2-0 on the season.

The Hunt Seat team improved to 2-0, and the Western team is now 1-0 on the season.

“A terrific way to finish off our opening weekend,” head coach Boo Major said. “To win two competitions the way we did this weekend shows that our team has a lot of talent. South Dakota State had some great riders today, and I’m just proud of girls for being prepared to have some great rides today.

The Gamecocks began Saturday’s competition with a 3-1 victory in Horsemanship. Junior Taylor Singmaster’s 74-72.5 win over the Jackrabbits’ Maggie Holzworth earned her an MVP award, South Carolina’s only MVP honor of the competition. Senior Hailey Thornton won her ride 73-65.5, and junior Maggie Fortune defeated Britta Barta 73-69. Redshirt freshman Johnna Letchworth rode South Dakota State’s Lydia Placzek to a tie, with each rider scoring 69.5.

South Carolina ended the first half of the competition with a 3-2 win in Equitation. The Gamecocks got points from junior Colvin Hedgepeth, sophomore Logan Holler, and freshman Rachel Roter. Roter, riding in her first competition as a Gamecock, picked up a 79-74.75 victory over South Dakota State’s Meredith Sauer. The Jackrabbits’ Victoria Pecak was named MVP in Equitation, as she defeated the Gamecocks’ Carolyn Curcio 78.5-77.

In Equitation Over Fences, it was all South Carolina as the Gamecocks cruised to an easy 4-1 win with victories coming from Curcio, sophomore captain Alex Arute, sophomore Kimberly McCormack, and freshman Emma Johnson. McCormack is now 3-0 overall this season after she won both of her rides on Friday against SMU. Johnson picked up her first victory as a Gamecock as she defeated Pecak 83-77. South Dakota State’s Meredith Sauer was named MVP of Equitation Over Fences, despite the fact that she lost 87-78 to Curcio.

In the final event of the competition, South Dakota State won the first three rides en route to a 3-2 decision over the Gamecocks. South Carolina did get two points from junior Annie McDonald, who defeated the Jackrabbits’ Holzworth. Senior Captain Gray also picked up a point for the Gamecocks, as she defeated Jana Basler 70-67.5. Placzek was named MVP of the event.

The Gamecocks now turn their attention to rival Auburn, who travels to Blythewood next Friday for a 2 p.m. competition.