Oct. 21, 2016
BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – The eighth-ranked University of South Carolina equestrian team earned another top-10 victory on Friday as they dropped No. 10 New Mexico State, 11-8, at One Wood Farm. Carolina is now 3-1 (1-1 SEC), with all three victories coming against opponents listed in the NCEA national rankings.
South Carolina took control of the meet with a dominant effort in reining. The Gamecocks went 4-0 in the first event of the day and made the lead stand up for the remainder of the contest.
NMSU is now 1-3 on the season after falling on Friday.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Boo Major
“I think our girls rode very well today. Certainly we had a mistake here or there, but I felt our hunt seat team was much better rounded than we were last time. The nerves weren’t quite so bad, so I was very happy with the hunt seat team. But it was our western team that really got us through today. I’m tickled to death with the reiners. They have a strong group, and I just want them to keep going and keep getting better.”
The day started with reining, and the Gamecocks went 4-0 in the discipline. Raegan Renfroe won her matchup, 62-0, on Blackie, while Paisley Roberts was a 64.5-63.5 winner over Hallie Padilla on Puffin. Bailey Walters was next with a 68-62.5 victory over Allison Nordvall on Magnum, and Caroline Gute was victorious, 66-64.5, riding Wrangler past Kimmy Ferrante.
Walters was credited with M.O.P. honors at the end of the day. It was her first top performer award this season and the sixth of her career.
EQUITATION OVER FENCES RECAP
NMSU won three of the five jumping points, but Carolina grabbed a pair. Lizzie van der Walde earned the first tally, 84-68, over Remington Willkie on Joe. Freshman Madison Sellman followed with an 81-80 triumph on Batman over Karianna Knezevich.
Carolina’s van der Walde was credited as M.O.P. at the conclusion of the event, her first such honor this season. Midway through the meet, Carolina led, 6-3.
Three Gamecocks tallied points in horsemanship. Ashley Reichert earned a 71.5-70.5 win over Morgan Matzdorff on Amos, and Bailey Mierzejewski took down Haylee Schoonover, 73-71.5, riding Skeeto. Last but not least, Paige Stopperich claimed a 73.5-71 win on Reggie over Hallie Padilla.
NMSU’s Katlynn Crine won M.O.P. laurels after winning her matchup, 72-68.5, on Jazz. After horsemanship, the Gamecocks led, 9-5.
EQUITATION ON THE FLAT RECAP
The Gamecocks needed just one point from equitation on the flat to clinch the victory, and they were able to secure two. Carolina got their second point of the day from van der Walde as she downed Knezevich, 77-73, on Eddie. Amelia Vernon was also a winner, 83-65, outscoring Isabel Walton on Keaton.
New Mexico State’s Grace McMurry, who won her matchup on Mike, 90-73, was named the M.O.P.
â€¢ With the win, the Gamecocks are now 8-1 all-time against NMSU and 3-0 against the Aggies at One Wood Farm.
â€¢ With the M.O.P. wins by Walters and van der Walde, nine different Gamecocks have now captured the honor in four meets this season.
â€¢ Walters leads all current Gamecocks with six career M.O.P. laurels.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina heads west for its next contest, as the Gamecocks take on Fresno State on Friday, Nov. 4. Start time at the Student Horse Center in Fresno, Calif., is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
Carolina last faced the Bulldogs on April 17, 2015 in the NCEA National Championship quarterfinals. The Gamecocks were victorious, 12-4, and went on to capture the national title the next day.