Gamecocks Drop Close Battle with Texas A&M
Sept. 30, 2016
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – A top-10 battle went against the University of South Carolina equestrian team on Friday as the eighth-ranked Gamecocks were edged by No. 3 Texas A&M, 10-8, at One Wood Farm. The loss drops the Gamecocks to 1-1 (0-1 SEC).
The match was the 2016-17 SEC opener for both clubs. With the win, the Aggies improved to 2-0 (1-0 SEC).
The match was incredibly tight, with the outcome in doubt until the final pairing. But Texas A&M was victorious, opening the conference slate with a victory.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Boo Major
“We have some work to do before Georgia next week, but hats off to a very good Texas A&M team. I think we’re looking forward to having Georgia come next week, and I feel like we still have many opportunities to be successful.”
The Aggies opened the day by winning three of the five points in reining, but Carolina did notch a pair of points. Last week’s M.O.P., Madison Thiel, was a 68-66 winner over Sarah McEntire on Magnum. Later, Caroline Gute took her first career point, riding Paddy to a 70.5-69 triumph over Jaci Marley.
In addition to winning her first career point as a collegian, Gute was named M.O.P. for the first time.
EQUITATION OVER FENCES RECAP
Much like last week when they swept Baylor, the Gamecocks dominated the jumping arena on Friday, winning four of the five points. Raleigh Bacharach was a 79-66 winner over Alex Desiderio on Fina, and Chloe Schmidt snuck past Rebekah Chenelle, 84-83, on Mango. Sydney Smith followed with an 84-35 victory over Adele McKenna on Keaton, and Madison Butehorn finished it off with an 85-79 win riding Indie over Haley Webster.
Butehorn, who earned both her first career victory and her first M.O.P award last week against Baylor, doubled her tally in both categories on Friday. At the end of the event, the Gamecocks held a 6-4 lead.
Texas A&M won three points in horsemanship, but the Gamecocks did manage a pair of draws. Megan Overberg finished even with Rachel Lucht, 74.5-all, on Reggie. In the final pairing, Bailey Mierzejewski and Avery Ellis each scored 69.5 on Barbie.
At the conclusion of horsemanship, the Aggies held a 7-6 lead. Texas A&M’s Sarah Orsak, who won her matchup on Caper, 74.5-73.5, was named M.O.P.
EQUITATION ON THE FLAT RECAP
The Aggies were able to take the overall victory by winning three of the five points on the flat, but the Gamecocks did take a couple of points. Chloe Schmidt claimed a 76-66 win over Isabella Norton on Eddie, and Katie Mack scored an 82-81 victory over Rachael Hake on Tattoo.
Desiderio was the M.O.P. in equitation on the flat after winning her pairing, 84-65, on Joe.
â€¢ Gute was not the only Gamecock to earn her first career victory on Friday, as Bacharach was victorious for the first time in equitation over fences. It was her fourth win overall, counting her three career flat points.
â€¢ Smith’s fences victory was the 15th of her career and her 16th across all events, tops on the team.
â€¢ South Carolina still holds a 10-9 series edge all-time over Texas A&M.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina is back at One Wood Farm on Friday, Oct. 7 to host No. 2 Georgia. The SEC contest starts at 2 p.m. ET.
The Gamecocks dropped both of their meetings with the Bulldogs in 2015-16, by counts of 13-5 and 13-7. However, Carolina’s last win over Georgia, a 10-6 win on April 18, 2015, came in the NCEA National Championship Match.