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Oct. 29, 2010

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MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State took advantage of a 5-0 sweep over the Gamecocks in Equitation on the Flat as the Wildcats defeated South Carolina 11-9 in the Gamecocks’ final competition of the fall semester. South Carolina’s Hunt Seat team lost 7-3, while the Gamecock Western riders earned a 6-4 win over the Wildcats. The Gamecocks fall to 2-3 overall while the Wildcats improve to 4-2.

Despite the loss, South Carolina’s riders earned three of Friday’s four MVP awards. Team captains Chloe Gray (Reining) and Alex Arute (Equitation Over Fences), and senior Hailey Thortnton (Horsemanship) all picked up MVP honors for their rides against Kansas State.

In Equitation on the Flat, Kansas State won all five rides, defeating the Gamecocks’ Carolyn Curcio, Emma Johnson, Colvin Hedgepeth, Kimberly McCormack, and Logan Holler. Curcio, Johnson, and Hedgepeth all lost their rides by one point each. Hedgepeth’s 73-72 to Kansas State’s Meredith Fink marked her first loss of the season, as the junior is now 4-1 this season.

In Equitation Over Fences, South Carolina won three of five points over the Wildcats. Curcio, Arute, and freshman Morgan Hale all won their rides against Kansas State, with Arute earining the MVP for her 20-point win over the Wildcats’ Shana Barnett.

In a rematch of last year’s 6-2 loss to Kansas State at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships, South Carolina got revenge Friday, as the Gamecocks used a 4-1 Reining win to lead the team to a 6-4 decision over the Wildcats. Gray, junior Annie McDonald, and sophomore Audrey Jewell, and freshman Melia Blakely won their rides Friday, with Gray earning the MVP for her 73.5-71 win over Kansas State’s Alecia Zimbelman. Gray is now 2-2 this season in Reining, while McDonald improved to 3-1, and Blakely improved 2-1-1. Jewell is now 2-0 this season in Reining, as the sophomore has now won both of her points on the road.

In Horsemanship, South Carolina dropped the event 3-2, but senior Hailey Thornton won the MVP with her 75-69 win over the Wildcats’ Whitney Unkefer, as she improved to 2-2 this season. Redshirt freshman Johnna Letchworth also won her ride, a 72.5-69.5 decision over Chayna DeNicolo. Letchworth is now 2-1-1 on the season.

The Western team is now 3-1 on the season, while South Carolina’s Hunt Seat team falls to 2-3. The Gamecocks are now done with fall competition, and the team returns to action in the spring when South Carolina travels to Bryan, TX to compete against Texas A&M, Baylor, and Delaware State Jan. 28-29.