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April 14, 2011

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Championship Central

WACO, TX – After giving up the first point of Thursday’s competition against Delaware State, South Carolina’s Western team won the remaining seven, as the Gamecocks put away the Hornets 7-1 in the Western bracket’s opening round at the 2011 Varsity Equestrian National Championships.

The win eliminated Delaware State’s Western team from the tournament, and South Carolina’s fifth-seeded Western squad will face No. 4 seed Georgia Thursday evening. The Gamecocks’ Hunt Seat team eliminated the Hornets’ Hunt Seat team just 15 minutes earlier.

Thursday’s opening round competition began in the Coliseum, as both the Gamecocks and Hornets battled it out in Reining. Sophomore Amanda Pope put South Carolina on the board first as she defeated Delaware State’s Amanda Hotz, 142-136.

Freshman Melia Blakely shined in her first ride at nationals, defeating the Hornets’ Shelby Bonneville, 130-129.

Senior Chloe Gray cruised to an easy victory, scoring an event high 139.5. Gray, the Western team captain, did not need the high score as Delaware State’s Mackenzie Trueba scored a zero.

In Horsemanship, the Gamecocks cruised with a 4-0 sweep. Maggie Fortune, Katie Kopf, Johnna Letchworth, and Hailey Thornton all won their rides, helping to send the Gamecocks into the second round Thursday evening.

South Carolina’s second round competition against the Bulldogs will begin late afternoon/early evening. Live Scoring is available by visiting the Live Scoring Page.