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Nov. 5, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – No. 6 South Carolina returns to Texas for the second time in a week, as the Gamecocks will face No. 3 Baylor and Southern Methodist in a pair of road meets this weekend. Carolina will face Baylor at 2 p.m. ET on Friday at the Willis Family Equestrian Center, and the Gamecocks will face SMU at 11 a.m. ET on Saturday at Sleepy P Ranch. Admission is free to both meets.

“We’ve had a short week of practice to prepare but I also think we’ve had a productive week since we got back from Texas A&M,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “Competing back-to-back days on the road is certainly a challenge, especially against two really good teams in SMU and Baylor, I know we’ll have our work cut out for us. We’ve been working on correcting some of the issues that hurt us last week at Texas A&M, and I feel like if we can get this group firing on all cylinders, then certainly we’ll be in a much better position. From a leadership standpoint, I’d like to see a little more from our seniors and juniors in terms of helping our younger riders. With a lot of newcomers in the lineup, it’s important for our veteran riders to take on that leadership role and help get us moving forward.”

• The Gamecocks are currently 2-2 overall and 0-2 in SEC play.
• South Carolina is currently ranked sixth in the latest NCEA Rankings.
• The Gamecocks’ next three meets are on the road, two of which will be against conference champions (Baylor, Georgia).
• Six of the Gamecocks’ next nine meets will take place on the road

• The Bears are currently 5-1 overall and 2-1 in Big 12 play.
• Baylor is currently ranked third in the latest NCEA Rankings.
• The Bears opened the season winning five straight meets.
• Baylor is coming off a 13-7 loss at Oklahoma State on Halloween.

• The Mustangs are currently 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the United Equestrian Conference.
• Southern Methodist finished as the runner-up at last year’s UEC Championship.
• Two of the Mustangs’ three losses have been by one point or less.
• Southern Methodist’s next four meets will take place at home, before the Mustangs close out the regular season with five straight away or neutral site meets.

1. Georgia (4-0)
2. Auburn (3-0)
3. Baylor (5-1)
4. Oklahoma State (3-2)
5. Texas A&M (3-1)
6. South Carolina (2-2)
7. TCU (3-2)
8. Fresno State (3-4)
9. New Mexico State (2-5)
10. UT-Martin (1-3)

The Gamecocks and Bears last met on April 18, 2015 in the semifinals at the NCEA National Championship. Then-senior Katherine Schmidt won her final two points as a Gamecock in a meet that South Carolina never trailed. The Gamecocks upset Baylor, 10-6, to advance to the national championship.

The Gamecocks and Bears last faced off at the Willis Family Equestrian Center on Nov. 17, 2012. Then-No. 1 South Carolina suffered its first lost of the season to fall to 4-1, as the Gamecocks fell 9-8 to Baylor. Senior Samantha Smith is the only Gamecock in Friday’s lineup that has won a point at Baylor. As a redshirt freshman, she won her jumping point, 83-71 as part of a 3-1 win in equitation over fences.

The Gamecocks last faced the Mustangs on Jan. 31, 2015 in Blythewood. Then-No. 3 South Carolina won its fifth straight meet of the season as the Gamecocks defeated the Mustangs, 13-2. Then-sophomore Kara Guertin (reining) and then-sophomore Bailey Mierzejewski (horsemanship) won their first career Most Outstanding Player awards.

The Gamecocks and Mustangs last faced off in Texas on Nov. 18, 2012. In a hunt seat-only competition, South Carolina overcame a one-point deficit twice, but then-No. 10 Southern Methodist held on for a 5-4 win over the Gamecocks. Senior Samantha Kraus is the only current Gamecock that has ever competed at SMU before, as she held her Mustang opponent to an 82-82 tie in equitation on the flat.

The Gamecocks will close out the fall portion of their schedule on Nov. 21 when South Carolina travels to Bishop, Ga. to face No. 1 Georgia. The Gamecocks defeated the Bulldogs, 10-6, to win the 2015 NCEA National Championship.