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Jan. 29, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Gamecock equestrian team kicks off its spring schedule on Saturday, when South Carolina hosts Tennessee-Martin at One Wood Farm in Blythewood. Saturday’s meet will begin at 10 a.m. and admission is free.

“We’re excited to be able to open up at home this weekend, and we’re looking forward to welcoming back coach Corvin and her team,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “It’s been quite a while years since we’ve hosted UT-Martin and I know they’ll come in prepared and ready to go. I’ve been very happy with our practices the last couple of weeks and I know the girls would like to perform well and have a good start to our spring schedule.”

– The Gamecocks are currently 2-5 this season.
– South Carolina is currently ranked eighth in the NCEA Rankings.
– Saturday marks the Gamecocks’ first home meet since Oct. 9 against Auburn.
– Carolina’s previous four meets took place on the road.
– The Gamecocks have won five of their six last home meets.

– The Skyhawks are 1-4 this season.
– UT-Martin is currently not ranked in the latest NCEA Rankings.
– The Skyhawks defeated New Mexico State, 11-4, on Oct. 10 at Baylor.
– UT-Martin’s next three meets are at home.

Saturday’s competition will be the first meeting between the two teams in Blythewood since Nov. 6, 2009. The Gamecocks, ranked No. 5 at the time, defeated the Skyhawks, 17-3.

The hunt seat team won 9-of-10 points and swept both MVPs as Paige Dekko (equitation on the flat) and Nicole Bourgeois (equitation over fences) claimed top honors for the Gamecocks. The western team won 8-of-10 points and was led by MVP riders Maggie Fortune (horsemanship) and Amanda Pope (reining).

The Gamecocks and Skyhawks last met on March 8, 2014 in Martin, Tenn. Then-No. 1 South Carolina won 3-of-4 MVPs en route to a 13-7 victory in the Gamecocks’ final regular season meet.

Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences), Sam Chiodo (horsemanship), and Jordan Brown (reining) all earned MVP honors for the Gamecocks, who finished with a program record 11 regular season wins.

The Gamecocks return to action on Saturday, Feb. 6 when South Carolina hosts Georgia at 1 p.m. The competition will serve as the team’s annual Equifest Kids Day.