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Oct. 10, 2011

Front page photo courtesy of Jeff Kirkbride with Jeff Kirkbride Photography.


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October 10, 2011
Coach Major

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina freshman Layla Choate won the NRHA Youth Reining (14-18) Championship at the 44th All American Quarter Horse Congress on Saturday at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Riding her own horse Bonitas Latin Chic, Choate scored 75+74.5+73= 222.50, three points better than second-place finisher, Casey Hicks (219.50).

“It’s a huge accomplishment for Layla, and we’re extremely happy for her,” South Carolina associate head coach Ruth Sorrel said. “She’s a hard worker, is always prepared, and is a great rider. This is a big honor for her and for the Gamecock equestrian team.”

Choate is the second member of the Gamecock equestrian team to win a championship at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. Allison Bradley won the Horsemanship championship at Congress in 2005.

Through two competitions as a Gamecock, Choate is 2-0 with one MVP honor. Against Fresno State in the season opener on Sept. 23, Choate defeated her opponent, 74-71 and was named Reining MVP. A week later against Texas Christian, she earned a 73-65.6 win over her opponent.

The Quarter Horse Congress is the world’s largest single-breed horse show, with over 17,000 entries at this year’s show. The Congress runs Oct. 7-30 and holds 19 different competitions for horses and riders.