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Jan. 7, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina equestrian Boo Major announced on Wednesday the signing of hunt seat rider Lizzie van der Walde (Ann Arbor, Mich./Greenhills School) to a National Letter of Intent to join the Gamecocks for the 2015-2016 season. She will ride with Carolina’s hunt seat team and is expected to compete in both equitation on the flat and equitation over fences.

Van der Walde chose South Carolina over Baylor, Texas A&M, TCU, and Georgia.

“We are looking forward to having Lizzie join our team next year,” Major said. “Lizzie is a very talented rider and she’s got a lot of equitation miles under her belt is one of the things that makes her a dynamic rider. She’ll be a dual threat for us in both equitation on the flat and over fences, and I think she’s going to be a great addition to our team.”

Van der Walde trains with Aaron Vale.

Van der Walde is enjoying a successful youth career, most recently finishing in the Top-25 at the Medal Finals in 2014. She also competed in the equitation finals at the Washington International Horse Show, and she won the junior jumper classic at the Tampa Horse Show. Van der Walde finished 9th in the HITS equitation championship, and she qualified for the Midwest ASPCA Maclay Regionals.

In 2013, van der Walde finished third in the Midwest ASPCA Maclay Regionals, where she would go on to earn a top-30 finish at the Maclay Finals. She placed first and second in the Low Junior Jumper Classic at Kentucky Summer, and she qualified for the USEF Talent Search Finals. In 2012, she competed at the Medal Finals and the Maclay Finals. She finished 10th in the Hunterdon Cup and second in the Zone 5 Horsemanship Class.

A senior at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor, van der Walde plans to major in business in the Darla Moore School of Business.

Born in Houston, Texas to parents Eric and Sharon van der Walde, her older sister Emily was on the equestrian team at the University of Georgia.