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April 3, 2012

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina sophomore Johnna Letchworth and freshman Katherine Schmidt have been named to this year’s National Collegiate Equestrian Association’s All-America Team.

This is the second All-America honor for Letchworth, who earned a nod last year on the inaugural All-America squad.

“We are very fortunate to have two All-Americans and six honorable mentions representing our team this year,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “It just shows the caliber of riders that we are recruiting at South Carolina. I’m very proud of both Johnna and Katherine for their accomplishments, along with our honorable mentions, as they have all played a big role in our success this season.”

Letchworth, who was named to last year’s All-America team for going 15-2-1 in Horsemanship, earned the nod again, as the redshirt sophomore is currently 11-2 with five MVP’s. Letchworth has a career regular season record of 22-3-1 in just two seasons, and her overall record sits at 26-3-1 with nine MVP’s.

“Johnna has done a phenomenal job again this year in Horsemanship for us. To be named an All-American two year in a row is a huge undertaking but such a big honor,” Major said. “If you have the talent Johnna has, it is understandable. She is capable of receiving this honor every year if she continues to ride the way she has.”

With her All-America honor in Equitation Over Fences, Schmidt becomes the first Gamecock Hunt Seat rider to earn an All-America honor. Schmidt is currently 10-3 in Equitation Over Fences and has earned two MVP’s in the event. Schmidt also competes in Equitation on the Flat, as the freshman rider earned an honorable mention for her record in that event. In Flat competition, Schmidt went 9-4 with two MVP’s, giving her a combined record of 19-7 with five MVP’s.

“Katherine has had a very impressive year both on the flat and over fences,” Major said. “It is rare that a freshman can come in and make as big of an impact as she has. Not only that, but she is an outstanding student-athlete and has contributed greatly to our successes both in and out of the competition arena.”

Her 19 wins is tied for the team-high with junior Kimberly McCormack, who is one of six South Carolina riders to earn honorable mention nods.

McCormack picked up an honorable mention in Equitation on the Flat. In Flat competition this season, McCormack is currently 9-2 with four MVP’s. McCormack, who has now led the team in wins in all three of her seasons as a Gamecock, has a combined season record of 19-5 with five MVP’s. For her career, McCormack has 51 wins and 15 MVP’s.

In Equitation Over Fences, two Gamecocks earned honorable mention honors. Junior Carolyn Curcio earned her first honorable mention, a her jumping record now sits at 7-2-1 with two MVP’s. Amber Henter also earned an honorable mention nod in Equitation Over Fences, as the redshirt freshman is currently 9-5 in the jumping with one MVP, and has posted two more wins in Equitation on the Flat, giving her 11 total in her first full season as a Gamecock.

South Carolina had two of its Western riders earn honorable mentions. In Horsemanship, senior captain Maggie Fortune and sophomore Alison Ceresani were named honorable mentions for their strong seasons. Fortune, who earned an honorable mention on last year’s team, picked up her second nod with six wins with one MVP.

Like Schmidt and Henter, Ceresani has put up impressive numbers in her first season of competition. In Horsemanship this season, the New Jersey native is 10-2-1 with one MVP.

The Gamecocks are currently 9-5 this season and are coming off their championship win at the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championships over the weekend in Bishop, Ga. South Carolina began the weekend with a 12-6 win over No. 3 Auburn on Friday, and followed that performance by handing No. 1 Georgia its second home loss in program history on Saturday, propelling Carolina to its first Southern Equestrian Championship in the ten years of the annual postseason tournament among the three Southeastern Conference schools.

South Carolina will wrap up its season next weekend, when the Gamecocks travel to Waco, Texas, to compete at the NCEA National Championships, which run April 12-14.

South Carolina’s Hunt Seat team earned the No. 2 seed at Nationals, and with that comes a first round bye. The Gamecocks’ Hunt Seat squad will face the winner of the Texas A&M/Fresno State.

The Gamecocks’ Western squad earned the No. 5 seed at Nationals, and will face No. 12 seed Tennessee-Martin in the opening round. The winner of that meet will advance to face No. 4 seed Auburn in the second round.