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Oct. 4, 2013

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DOVER, Del. – South Carolina’s third-ranked equestrian team defeated Delaware State, 14-4, at the Gambler’s Choice Equestrian Center on Friday. The Gamecocks are now 3-0 this season, while the Hornets drop to 0-2.

Today’s win snaps a five-meet road losing streak for the Gamecocks, who had lost five regular season road meets in a row dating back to last season.

South Carolina’s hunt seat team won, 8-1, while the western picked up a 6-3 victory.

The Gamecocks won three of four MVP’s on Friday. Samantha Smith (equitation on the flat), Amber Henter (equitation over fences), and Johnna Letchworth (reining) won MVP honors for the Gamecocks. Letchworth earned her first career reining MVP in Friday’s win over the Hornets. Today’s MVP gives her 17 career MVP’s (16 in horsemanship, one in reining), tying Kimberly McCormack for the most all-time.

Friday’s meet began in the flat arena, where the Gamecocks jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Junior Adele Norton scored the first point of the meet and of her career when she knocked off Delaware State’s Caroline Schock, 73-69. Redshirt sophomore Samantha Smith followed with an event-high score of 85, earning MVP honors as she cruised by the Hornets’ Vanessa Rabito by 36-points. Senior Kelsey Hart topped Heather Hotz, 72-59, to give the Gamecocks a 3-0 lead. After the Hornets won their lone point of the event, junior Alexa Anthony held Hayley Jeske to a 77-77 tie.

In the western arena, the reining team continued its high scoring ways, as the Gamecocks won four of five points for the third straight time this year. Delaware State won the first point, but Carolina went on to win the next four to give the Gamecocks a 7-2 lead at the halfway point.

Senior Jordan Brown scored the first of four straight reining points for the Gamecocks when she defeated Abigail Buckwalter, 69.5-65.5. Junior Layla Choate followed with a 68.5-67 win, as her and Brown are both 3-0 this year. Senior Johnna Letchworth won her second reining point of the season when she edged Delaware State’s Alexis Gratkowski, 69.5-69. Letchworth earned MVP honors for the win, her first career reining MVP and 17th MVP of her career. Junior Cody McMillion gave the Gamecocks a 7-2 lead when she picked up a 68-64.5 victory over Brianna Fedorkowcz.

South Carolina extended its lead to 12-2 after a 5-0 sweep by the equitation over fences team.

Sophomore Samantha Kraus scored the first jumping point on Friday, as picked up a ten-point victory over Carlin Savange. Smith finished off her 2-for-2 day with a 79-74 win over Tiffany Lee, giving the Rhode Island native a team-leading six wins this season. Junior Katherine Schmidt rebounded after dropping her flat point earlier in the meet, as she edged Delaware State’s Schock, 77-76. Hunt seat captain Amber Henter was named MVP after she posted an event-high 82 to knock off her opponent by four points. Sophomore Emily Reynolds completed the 5-0 sweep for the jumpers when she dropped Hayley Jeske, 72-65.

In horsemanship, the Gamecocks and Hornets each won a pair of points. Delaware State won the first two points, but junior Sam Chiodo halted the scoring streak when she held Alaina Halter to a 69-69 tie. Sophomore Kelsey Urban won her point, 71-70, and sophomore Abigail Pait followed with a 72-65.5 victory.

Carolina closes out the road trip tomorrow, when the Gamecocks compete against SMU at 10 a.m.