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Dec. 2, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the first time this season, the University of South Carolina equestrian team is ranked No. 1 in the country, according to the final fall National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) rankings, released on Monday. It marks the first time since April 2013 that the Gamecocks sit atop the equestrian rankings.

Carolina set a number of team records during the fall portion of the schedule. The Gamecocks’ six fall wins is a team record, along with the number of consecutive meets in which they have won nine or more points. Dating back to last season, South Carolina has posted nine or points in 14 of its last 15 dual meets. This year’s team also set a record for most points won in three, four, five, six, seven, and eight consecutive meets.

A number of individual riders received SEC and NCEA recognition during the fall.

Senior Johnna Letchworth (reining) and junior Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences) were named NCEA Riders of the Month in September. The two were also honored by the NCEA a month later with the same recognition, along with sophomore Samantha Smith (equitation on the flat), as the Gamecocks won three-of-four national riders of the month in October. Schmidt and Letchworth were also named SEC Riders of the Month for October, and junior Layla Choate (reining) was named SEC Rider of the Month for November.

The Gamecocks begin spring competition on Feb. 1, when Carolina travels to face New Mexico State. South Carolina will host a pair of regular season meets in the spring, and then Mar. 28-29, the Gamecocks will host the 2014 SEC Championship at One Wood Farm in Blythewood.

NCEA Rankings – December 2, 2013
1. South Carolina
2. Auburn
3. Baylor
4. New Mexico State
5. Kansas State
6. Georgia
7. Oklahoma State
8. TCU
9. Texas A&M
10. SMU