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April 12, 2012

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WACO, Texas – For the third time in as many months, the Gamecock equestrian team upset Auburn, as No. 5 seed South Carolina edged the fourth-seeded Tigers, 5-3, in the second round at the 2012 NCEA National Championships on Thursday at the Extraco Events Center.

With the win, the Gamecocks advance to the third round of the Western bracket, where they will face No. 1 seed Texas A&M on Friday afternoon.

The Gamecocks jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, as South Carolina took three of four Reining points.

Audrey Jewell scored first for the Gamecocks, as she defeated Auburn’s Kristin Hansen, 142.5-136. Jewell’s 142.5 was an event-high, and she was the only reined to score above 140. Jewell went 2-for-2 on Thursday, as the junior also picked up a victory in the opening round victory over Tennessee-Martin.

After Auburn’s Indy Roper picked up a point for the Tigers, the Gamecocks went on to win the final two points of the event, as freshman Layla Choate and Amanda Pope both won their rides. Choate completed her 2-for-2 day on Thursday with a 137.5-131 victory over Stephanie Rucci, while Pope knocked off op opponent, 139.5-135.5.

In Horsemanship, South Carolina riders Maggie Fortune and Johnna Letchworth both won their points, as the Gamecocks held on to win the meet, 5-3. Letchworth scored the Gamecocks’ first Horsemanship point, as she defeated Kristin Hansen, 145.5-141.5. Fortune and Letchworth went 2-for-2 for the Gamecocks on Thursday.

The Gamecocks held a 4-3 advantage, and Fortune entered the ring knowing that she had to be Katsy Leeman’s 141.5. Fortune delivered, posting a 143 and sending the Gamecocks into the third round with a Friday showdown with Texas A&M.

After receiving a first-round bye in the Hunt Seat bracket, South Carolina’s Hunt Seat riders will also face Texas A&M on Friday, as the No. 2 seed Gamecocks will take on the No. 7 seed Aggies, beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET with Equitation on the Flat, followed by Equitation Over Fences.