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Nov. 27, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina junior Layla Choate was named SEC Reining Rider of the Month for November, it was announced today. This is Choate’s first conference rider of the month award, and she is the third Gamecock to earn the recognition this season.

“This is a great recognition for Layla and we’re all very proud of her,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “She’s had a terrific fall semester for us, and she has really stepped up as a leader on our reining team. That’s a group that’s riding very well for us right now so we’re happy to see her get that recognition.”

Choate currently leads the reining team with a 7-1 record, the most single-event wins by any Gamecock western rider this season. She also has two MVP’s this season, the most recent coming on Nov. 23 in the Gamecocks’ 14-5 win at South Dakota State. Choate posted an event-high score of 72.5 to knock of her Jackrabbit opponent by 2.5 points.

Now at the halfway point of the 2013-2014 season, Choate has already set personal record for regular season wins, with seven. She is two wins away from tying her win total (9) from the 2011-2012 season, and she will have at least eight chances to break that record during the spring portion of Carolina’s schedule.

The Gamecocks (6-2, 1-2 SEC) closed out the fall season on Nov. 23, cruising to a 14-5 victory at South Dakota State. South Carolina won a program record six fall meets while scoring 10 or more points in seven of its eight competitions during the fall.

Carolina returns to action on Feb. 1, when the Gamecocks travel to New Mexico State.

November 2013 SEC Riders of the Month: Layla Choate/South Carolina (reining), Heather Schmidt/Georgia (horsemanship), Christina Lin/Auburn (equitation over fences), and Liza Finsness/Georgia & Demi Stiegler/Auburn (co-equitation on the flat).

South Carolina – SEC Riders of the Month (All-Time)
• November 2013 – Layla Choate (reining)
• October 2013 – Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences)
• October 2013 – Johnna Letchworth (reining)
• March 2013 – Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences)
• February 2013 – Johnna Letchworth (horsemanship)
• November 2012 – Amber Henter (equitation over fences)
• November 2012 – Kelsey Urban (horsemanship)