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Jan. 22, 2015

Editor’s note – front page photo courtesy of Rebecca Walton/

COLUMBIA, S.C. – University of South Carolina equestrian coach Boo Major on Thursday announced the signing of hunt seat rider Sophie Simpson (Wellington, Fla./Lauren Springs) to a National Letter of Intent to join the Gamecocks for the 2015-2016 season. Simpson will compete in equitation over fences and equitation on the flat for the Gamecocks.

Simpson chose South Carolina over Auburn.

“We are really excited to have Sophie join us next season,” Major said. “Both of her parents are horse trainers and they’ve done an outstanding job with her. She’s had the opportunity to compete at every level and at all of the major shows, and she’s consistently proven that she’s a winner and one of the top riders in the country. Sophie has a ton of miles in the jumpers along with with the hunters and equitation and she’s going to have a lot to offer us over the next four years.”

Simpson trains with her mother Nicole Shahinian Simpson.

Last year, Simpson finished fifth at the Medal Finals, and in 2013, she finished 8th at the ASPCA Maclay Finals and secured a top-20 finish at the Medal Finals.

Her parents are Will and Nicole Shahinian-Simpson, and she has a brother, Ty Simpson.