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Sept. 7, 2011

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – As the South Carolina equestrian team prepares for its season opener on Sept. 23 against Fresno State, GamecocksOnline will have a Q&A with each member of this season’s freshman class. Today, we feature Hunt Seat rider Adele Norton.

How are your first few weeks on campus going?
“Better than I ever could have imagined. My teammates are all so welcoming and friendly; I feel as if I have a family here already.”

Now that the team is a few weeks into practice, how do you feel about the progress you are making?
“Workouts and practices have improved and strengthened my position. I am looking forward to developing my form both on the flat and over fences.”

What is the biggest challenge for you as you adjust to the new “team-style” that exists in collegiate equestrian?
“Although I appreciate the helpful advice of my teammates, I find it difficult to give constructive criticism. I am always worried that my advice could be taken the wrong way; I would never want to upset anyone.”

How do you like your teammates and coaches?
“My teammates are all talented and dedicated. I am lucky to be a part of such an incredible group of athletes. The coaches are encouraging and helpful. They bring out the best in all of us.”

What made you decide to be a Gamecock?
“I am all about team spirit and togetherness. No other team has the same sense of solidarity and fierce determination that we do. We all want to win and we want to win as a team.”

Do you have any specific goals for the upcoming season?
“I want to support my teammates, strengthen my position and give 110% in every practice and workout, regardless of the circumstances.”

How old were you when you first started riding, and how did you first start riding (parents, friends, etc.)?
“I was seven years old and enamored with horses. All I wanted to do was own, ride and care for my own horse. I read books about horses and horse care, played horse games, and wrote stories about riding horses. I begged my parents for years until they finally gave in and signed me up for my first riding lesson. They thought I would get over the horse bug, but it appears they were mistaken.”

How do you get prepared or pumped up before you head into the ring for a big ride?
“I visualize the ride I want to have and clear my mind of any and all negative thoughts.”

Outside of equestrian, do you have any other special or unique talents or sports?
“I like to read and write poetry.”

What is your major and explain why you chose it?
“Print journalism. I wanted to major in something that would involve reading and writing, as English and History were my two favorite subjects in high school. My dream job would to be a writer for a newspaper or magazine.”