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March 26, 2015

Coach Major

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – No. 1 South Carolina begins action at the 2015 SEC Championship on Friday, when the second-seeded Gamecocks will face third-seeded Texas A&M beginning at 11 a.m. ET. This year’s Championship will take place at the Thomas G. Hildebrand Equine Complex. The winner of Friday’s semifinal meet will advance to Saturday’s SEC Championship competition against the winner of the Georgia/Auburn meet.

“We’re excited to be in Texas and really looking forward to what should be a great weekend of competition,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “I think when you look at this year’s field and the seeds, you have four very talented teams that have what it takes to win an SEC Championship. The Friday semifinal round is going to be extremely tough for us against a great Texas A&M team. They went undefeated at home this season and beat us here five weeks ago, so we know what we’re up against. We’ve had a great couple of weeks of practice and I’m very pleased with how well we’ve prepared. If we’re able to keep from making some of the mistakes that we made here last month, then we’ll be able ride much better on Friday.”

• The Gamecocks are 9-3 overall and 4-2 in SEC play.
• South Carolina is currently ranked No. 1 in the latest NCEA Rankings.
• The Gamecocks earned the No. 2 seed for this year’s SEC Championship.
• Carolina has a 5-1 record during the spring semester.
• The Gamecocks have won eight of their last nine competitions this season.

• The Aggies are 7-5 overall and 3-3 in SEC play.
• Texas A&M is currently ranked No. 4 in the latest NCEA Rankings.
• The Aggies earned the No. 3 seed for this year’s SEC Championship.
• Texas A&M has a league best 7-0 record in home meets this season.
• The Aggies are the only SEC team to win all three of their home conference meets.

• Friday – 11 a.m. ET (Semifinal – Georgia vs. Auburn)
• Friday – 11 a.m. ET (Semifinal – South Carolina vs. Texas A&M)
• Saturday – 10 a.m. ET (Consolation – the two losing teams from Friday)
• Saturday – 2 p.m. ET (Championship – the two winning teams from Friday)

This weekend marks the third season that the Southeastern Conference has sponsored an equestrian championship. On June 1, 2012, the league announced that it would begin sponsoring an equestrian championship for the 2012-13 season.

The seedings for this weekend’s tournament are:
• No. 1 seed: Georgia (4-2 SEC)
• No. 2 seed: South Carolina (4-2 SEC)
• No. 3 seed: Texas A&M (3-3 SEC)
• No. 4 seed: Auburn (1-5 SEC)

• This is Georgia’s first time earning the No. 1 seed at the SEC Championship.
• This is South Carolina’s second time earning the No. 2 seed at the SEC Championship. The Gamecocks previously earned the No. 2 seed at the inaugural SEC Championship in 2012.
• This is the second time the Gamecocks lost the No. 1 seed as a result of a tiebreaker. The Gamecocks also lost the No. 1 seed to Auburn in 2013 on a tiebreaker. • This is Texas A&M’s first time earning the No. 3 seed at the SEC Championship. It also marks the highest seed the Aggies have earned.
• This is Auburn’s first time earning the No. 4 seed seed at the SEC Championship.

The Gamecocks and Aggies split their regular season series this year for the second straight time. South Carolina defeated Texas A&M, 12-8, on Oct. 31 in Blythewood. The Aggies defeated the Gamecocks, 11-8, on Feb. 21 in College Station.

South Carolina senior Sam Chiodo was named SEC Co-Horsemanship Rider of the Month, the league office announced earlier this week. Chiodo also earned SEC Rider of the Month honors in February, making her the first Gamecock rider in program history to win back-to-back SEC Rider of the Month awards in the same season.

South Carolina’s wins leaders this season are all seniors.

In equitation on the flat. senior Katherine Schmidt leads the Gamecocks with an 8-2-2 record, including an undefeated 6-0-1 mark in away and neutral site competitions.

In equitation over fences, Schmidt and fellow senior Amber Henter both posted ten victories during the regular season. Henter went 10-1-1 with two MVPs, including a perfect 7-0 record in away and neutral site meets. Schmidt went 10-2 this season in the jumping, and led the fences team with a perfect 6-0 record in SEC meets. Schmidt also earned five jumping MVPs during the regular season, the most by any Gamecock in a single event this season.

In horsemanship, senior Sam Chiodo leads the way with a 10-1-1 record. Chiodo earned four MVPs and has a 6-1 record in away and neutral site meets this season. She leads the horsemanship team with an undefeated SEC record of 5-0-1/

In reining, senior Layla Choate led Carolina this season with a 9-1 record during the regular season along with three MVPs. Choate also posted a reining team-best five road victories and led the reining team with a 5-1 SEC record.

• 2016 – Georgia
• 2017 – Auburn
• 2018 – South Carolina
• 2019 – Texas A&M

• 2014 – South Carolina (def. Georgia)
• 2013 – South Carolina (def. Auburn)

Prior to the SEC sponsoring an equestrian championship – Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina competed in an annual Southern Equestrian Championship. The tournament was discontinued once the SEC added an equestrian championship.

• 2012 – South Carolina
• 2011 – Auburn
• 2010 – Auburn
• 2009 – Georgia
• 2008 – Georgia
• 2007 – Georgia
• 2006 – Georgia
• 2005 – Georgia
• 2004 – Auburn
• 2003 – Georgia