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Sept. 9, 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 Alexa Anthony.

How are your first few weeks on campus going?
“They are going great! I really feel at home here in South Carolina. The atmosphere is wonderful and the people are more than courteous.”

Now that the team is a few weeks into practice, how do you feel about the progress you are making?
“I feel that my progress is great. Adapting to the a new barn and coaches can be a tough transition, however, my transition to the South Carolina Equestrian team has been wonderful so far.”

What is the biggest challenge for you as you adjust to the new “team-style” that exists in collegiate equestrian?
“The biggest challenge for me so far is managing time. With practice, class, and finding down time it can be difficult to get everything done but I’m learning!”

How do you like your teammates and coaches?
“I could not be happier with my teammates and coaches. I feel like we are all a huge family that is there for each other and that is what makes the Gamecock Equestrian team so successful.”

What made you decide to be a Gamecock?
“I decided to come to South Carolina for the Equestrian team not only because of all the wonderful things I have heard about the team but also because of the coaching staff, the great care that is taken of the horses, and how close all of the riders are to each other.”

Do you have any specific goals for the upcoming season?
“My main goal is to contribute to the team as much as possible whether that entails competing in the show ring, helping around the barn, or even just encouraging my team mates to be the best they can be.”

How old were you when you first started riding, and how did you first start riding (parents, friends, etc.)?
“I was four years old when I competed in my first short-stirrup pony over fences class. I fell in love with the sport because of my mother and trainer, Cara Anthony. She inspired me to be the best rider I can be while always putting the horse first.”

How do you get prepared or pumped up before you head into the ring for a big ride?
“I always learn the track of the competition and sit by myself outside the ring where I can think to myself and review my plan and envision the successful ride.”

Outside of equestrian, do you have any other special or unique talents or sports?
“Although riding takes up most of my time, I love playing soccer. Unfortunately, I had to give up playing throughout high school but I thoroughly enjoy soccer as well.”

What is your major and explain why you chose it?
“I intend to major in Spanish because I have grown up speaking it with friends and think it is a beautiful language. I also have a love for languages and being able to communicate with people in different parts of the world in their native language.”