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Nov. 8, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Three Gamecocks were named NCEA National Riders of the Month, it was announced today. Senior Johnna Letchworth (reining), junior Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences), and Samantha Smith (equitation on the flat) were named riders of the month.

“This is a very special recognition for our team and we are all proud of Johnna, Samantha, and Katherine on their national awards,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We’ve won five of eight national rider of the month awards this season and two of four SEC rider of the month awards, so individually, we’ve had some folks riding extremely well and that’s really good to see.”

Schmidt was named the October Equitation Over Fences Rider of the Month. She posted a 4-0 record in equitation over fences in the month of October with two MVP honors. Three of her four wins and one of her two MVPs came in away meets. On Oct. 11, she defeated her opponent from No. 1 Georgia, 79-74, and was named MVP. Schmidt is currently 6-0 on the season in equitation over fences with four MVP honors. She also was named the Southeastern Conference Equitation Over Fences Rider of the Month for October. This is her fourth time being named Rider of the Month by the NCEA. She was previously honored in September 2013 (equitation over fences), and March 2013 (equitation over fences and equitation on the flat).

Smith was named the October Equitation On The Flat Rider of the Month. She posted a 3-1 record in the month of October in Equitation On The Flat with two MVP honors. Both of her MVP honors and all three of her wins in October came on the road. Her lone loss in October came against No. 1 Georgia, dropping her point 73-72. This is her first national Rider of the Month award.

Letchworth was named the October Reining Rider of the Month. Letchworth posted a 3-0-1 record in reining during the month of October with three MVP honors. Each of her three wins and MVP honors came on the road. Three of Letchworth’s scores in October were the highest reining scores in those respective meets. Her only tie came against No. 1 Georgia and was tied for the highest score of the event. Letchworth was also the SEC Reining Rider of the Month for October. This is her second NCEA Rider of the Month award, as she was also tabbed for the honor last month in reining.

The Gamecocks return to action on Saturday, when Carolina faces No. 2 Auburn at the Auburn University Horse Center.

NCEA Riders of the Month – October
Equitation Over Fences – Katherine Schmidt (South Carolina)
Equitation on the Flat – Samantha Smith (South Carolina)
Reining – Johnna Letchworth (South Carolina)
Horsemanship – Kelly Boviard (Kansas State)