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Dec. 23, 2010

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina equestrian coach Boo Major has announced the signing of Samantha Smith to a national letter of intent to join the Gamecocks for the 2011-2012 season. Smith will be competing with South Carolina’s Hunt Seat squad.

“Having Samantha sign with us this fall is very exciting,” Major said. “Sam has a great riding resume and has done extremely well at all indoor finals this year. She will bring a new dimension to our team in both equitation on the flat and over fences.”

A gifted rider, Smith trains with Shachine Belle. Under Belle’s guidance, Smith has earned awards and honors at every level of competition. Some of her youth highlights include:

– Winner – Ocala Circuit Equitation Champion
– Winner – CHJA Masters Finals
– Winner – Maclay Regional
– Zone 1 Champion
– Regional Medal Reserve Champion
– USEF Medal Finals Top-25
– Maclay Finals Top-30

– Winner – Ocala Circuit Equitation Champion
– Ocala Reserve Circuit Champion in Modified Junior Jumpers
– Winner – New England Equitation Finals
– Reserve Champion CHJA Masters Finals
– Capital Challenge Equitation Classic 4th Place
– USET Talent Search 10th Place
– Devon-USEF Medal 1st Place
– Devon-Maclay 3rd Place

– CHJA Finals Reserve Champion Equitation Masters
– Maclay Finals 5th Place

– MHC Jr. Equitation Finals Winner

A senior at South Kingstown High School in Wakefield, R.I., Smith currently holds a 3.3 GPA. Smith plans to major in Business in the Darla Moore School of Business at South Carolina, which has been ranked No. 1 or No. 2 for 20 consecutive years by the U.S. News and World Report.

Born in Wakefield, R.I. to parents Stephen and Melissa Smith, Smith has two brothers, David, 27, who played baseball at Rhode Island College, and Kevin, 20.