Oct. 17, 2014
Paige Stopperich won the AQHA Youth Hunt Seat Equitation (15-18) championship at the American Quarter Horse Congress on Thursday (Photos courtesy of The Equine Chronicle)
COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina freshman Paige Stopperich won the AQHA Youth Hunt Seat Equitation (15-18) championship on Thursday at the 48th All American Quarter Horse Congress, held at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio.
Riding Cowboys R Hot, Stopperich placed first in a field of 83 competitors to win this year’s championship.
“Paige had a great show on Thursday and we’re all very excited for her,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “She is an excellent rider and someone who continues to win or place very high in just about every show she competes at. She’s going to be competing in the horsemanship for us and we think she’s going to have a bright career here at Carolina.”
Stopperich trains with Michael Colvin and Clint Ainsworth.
Stopperich is the fourth Gamecock in the history of the program to win a Congress championship while still on the roster. Last year, then-senior Johnna Letchworth won the AQHA Amateur Western Horsemanship championship, topping a field of 96 competitors. Senior Layla Choate won the NRHA Youth Reining (14-18) Championship in 2011 as a freshman. And Allison Bradley won the Horsemanship championship in 2005, her sophomore season.
The Gamecocks return to action on Oct. 31, when South Carolina hosts Texas A&M at 2 p.m. in Blythewood. Admission is free to all Gamecock equestrian events, and the Oct. 31 meet will be South Carolina’s final home competition until January.