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Feb. 11, 2012

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MARTIN, Tenn. – South Carolina scored early and often on Saturday, as the seventh-ranked Gamecocks cruised to a 16-3 victory over No. 10 Tennessee-Martin at the Ned McWherter Agricultural Complex. South Carolina also swept all four MVP’s on a day filled with highlights for several Gamecock riders.

“Both teams did a great job in adverse weather conditions today, but we’re thrilled to come out with a nice win,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We responded well under the circumstances. UT-Martin put on a very good competition today. To come out of there with such a big win and to win all four MVP’s is outstanding.”

The Gamecocks (4-5) jumped out to an early 9-1 lead as Carolina opened the meet with a 5-0 sweep in Horsemanship and a 4-1 win in Equitation Over Fences.

In sweeping all five Horsemanship points, senior captain Maggie Fortune, senior Taylor Singmaster, sophomores Johnna Letchworth and Alison Ceresani, and freshman Sam Chiodo picked up victories for the Gamecocks. Letchworth got the scoring started, picking up a 73-69.5 victory over Amy Guenther, as she improved her record to 7-1 this season. Chiodo, Singmaster, and Fortune all followed with wins of their own, and Ceresani closed out the event with an event-high 74 to claim her first MVP as a Gamecock. Ceresani is now 6-2 this season.

“I’m so proud of our western girls,” Major said. “They have been due for a big win and it could not have come at a better time. Hats off to coach Ruth Sorrel for a great job”

In Equitation Over Fences, Gamecock riders clinched four of five points, highlighted by junior Kimberly McCormack’s 11-point win and MVP selection. McCormack, who less than 24 hours earlier clinched the Equitation Over Fences championship at the Collegiate Equitation Challenge in Wellington, Fla., improved to 13-3 overall while claiming her third MVP of the season and 13th MVP in just 2.5 seasons. Her 13 regular season wins this season is a career-high, and the Gamecocks still have three regular season meets left.

Also winning their rides in the jumping on Saturday were freshmen Alexa Anthony, Amber Henter, and Katherine Schmidt. Anthony, competing for the first time as a Gamecock, picked up a 79-77 victory over UT-Martin’s Katie Miranda. Henter improved to 8-4 overall and 6-3 in Equitation Over Fences as she defeated her opponent, 78-76. Schmidt kicked off another 2-for-2 day as she earned a 78-73 victory over the Skyhawk’s Reid Rickett.

South Carolina’s Reining team shined on Saturday, cruising to a 4-1 victory. Freshman Cody McMillion won her first MVP as a Gamecock and improved to 4-1 as she scored an event-high 70.5 to defeat Kathryn Gorsuch, who scored a 67. Junior Audrey Jewell is now 4-1-1 and a perfect 3-0 in spring competition, as she edged Guenther, 67.5-67. Freshman Layla Choate picked up a 7.5 point victory over her opponent, and sophomore Jordan Brown also won her point for the Gamecocks.

In Equitation on the Flat, the Gamecocks won three of five points, while sophomore Kelsey Hart picked up a tie as the Gamecocks won the event, 3-1. Schmidt completed her 2-for-2 day on Saturday in typical fashion, claiming MVP honors as she rolled to a 12-point victory over her UT-Martin opponent. Schmidt, who finished 2nd in the Equitation on the Flat championship at the Collegiate Equitation Challenge in Wellington, Fla. late Friday night, now has ten wins during her freshman season and four MVP’s.

Junior Logan Holler remained perfect on Saturday, picking up a 72-70 win, improving her record to 4-0 this season. Sophomore Emma Johnson also retains her unblemished record in 2011-2012, as she improves to 2-0 with a 79-77 victory over her Skyhawk opponent.

The Hunt Seat team is now 7-2 this season.

“The Hunter Seat women continued their winning ways,” Major said. “It was great to win by a large margin for a change rather than having it be a close competition. Coach Carol Gwin had our riders really prepared.”

With three regular season meets left this season, the Gamecocks return home Feb. 25 and 26 for the final home meets at One Wood Farm this season. South Carolina hosts Auburn on at 10 a.m. Sat., Feb. 25 for EquiFest, and then welcomes Baylor at 11 a.m. on Sun., Feb. 26 as the Gamecocks will bid farewell to this year’s senior class on Senior Day.