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Nov. 17, 2016


Meet: No. 8 South Carolina at No. 4 Auburn

Date: Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

Time: 4 p.m. ET

Venue: Auburn University Horse Center

Location: Auburn, Ala.

NCEA RANKINGS — 11/16/16
Team Record
1. Texas A&M 4-1
2. Baylor 4-2
3. Georgia 3-2
4. Auburn 3-2
5. SMU 3-1
6. Oklahoma State 3-1
7. Fresno State 5-2
8. South Carolina 3-2
9. TCU 3-3
10. New Mexico State 3-4

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina equestrian team concludes the fall season on Friday, Nov. 18, when it takes on Southeastern Conference rival Auburn University. The meet begins at 3 p.m. CT (4 p.m. ET) at the Auburn University Horse Center in Auburn, Ala.

Friday’s competition begins at 4 p.m. ET with equitation over fences and horsemanship running simultaneously. After a short break, the second half of the meet will begin, with equitation on the flat and reining running at the same time.

The eighth-ranked Gamecocks (3-2, 1-1 SEC) will wrap up the first half of the 2016-17 season with yet another NCEA top-10 opponent. Auburn (3-2, 1-1 SEC) is listed fourth in the national poll; all six of Carolina’s opponents this season have been ranked in the top-10.

Carolina will be looking for its first road victory of the season when it faces the Tigers on Friday. After opening the season with a 3-1 record in four home meets, the Gamecocks dropped a 10-8 decision at Fresno State on Nov. 4 in Fresno, Calif.


“It’s always important to win. We want to come out on top — that’s for sure. We don’t want to sit over Christmas break and think about this. We want to be moving forward and always getting better, so we’re expecting good things on Friday.”


• The South Carolina equestrian program is proud to launch a new Snapchat account to provide a new inside look at the program. Fans can follow the Gamecocks by searching for the user name “gamecockeq.”
• Fans are encouraged to follow the Gamecocks on Snapchat throughout Friday’s meet as sophomore student-athlete Sarah Isgett hosts the team’s SNAPCHAT TAKEOVER, a special behind-the-scenes look at Carolina in action against Auburn.


• South Carolina fell to 3-2 on Nov. 4, when they suffered a 10-8 loss to then-No. 9 Fresno State.
• Carolina was up after the first half of the meet, 6-3, after winning four of the five equitation over fences points. But the Gamecocks were swept in horsemanship, 4-0, and also lost equitation on the flat to take the overall loss.
• Despite the setback, three Gamecocks captured M.O.P. honors: Bridgett White (reining), Madison Butehorn (equitation over fences) and Chloe Schmidt (equitation on the flat).
• Schmidt was victorious in both jumping and equitation on the flat against the Bulldogs.


• South Carolina continues to feature one of the deepest lineups in the nation, with 20 different Gamecocks scoring at least one point over the course of five meets.
• Carolina features 11 different M.O.P. winners this season, including Madison Butehorn, a three-time honoree in equitation over fences.
• Five different Gamecocks have won reining M.O.P. accolades: Caroline Gute, Raegan Renfroe, Madison Thiel, Bailey Walters and Bridgett White.
• Chloe Schmidt leads Carolina overall with seven individual victories this season (four over fences, three on the flat), while Gute and Thiel pace the team with three reining points. Bailey Mierzejewski, Ashley Reichert and Paige Stopperich each have a team-high two horsemanship victories.


• Among Gamecocks that have competed at least three times in an event, two student-athletes remain undefeated. Both are freshmen: Caroline Gute (3-0-1 in reining) and Madison Sellman (3-0 in equitation over fences).
• Overall, freshman riders are 10-4-1 this season.
• Three Gamecock rookies have won M.O.P. laurels this season: Gute, Katie Mack and Raegan Renfroe.


• South Carolina student-athletes Paige Stopperich (horsemanship) and Raegan Renfroe (reining) were named SEC Riders of the Month for October.
• Both Gamecocks went 2-0 with one M.O.P. honor apiece in October as Carolina defeated No. 2 Georgia and No. 10 New Mexico State.
• Carolina now has four SEC Riders of the Month already this season, including September winners Madison Butehorn (equitation over fences) and Madison Thiel (reining).


• The Gamecocks enter Friday’s meet with a 22-17 record against Auburn since 2003, but the Tigers hold a 9-7 advantage in meets contested at Auburn.
• Auburn has won the last three meetings between the programs, including victories last season at Auburn, One Wood Farm, and Athens, Ga., at the 2015 SEC Championship.
• Current Gamecocks Bailey Walters (2015 SEC Championship Semifinals) and Paisley Roberts (2015 at Auburn) have both earned reining M.O.P. honors against the Tigers.


• Like the Gamecocks, Auburn enters Friday’s meet with a record of 3-2 (1-1 SEC).
• The Tigers last competed Nov. 11, when they suffered an 11-7 loss to Georgia.
• Senior Ashley Foster leads Auburn with a 8-1-1 record, including a 5-0 fences mark, and she owns two M.O.P. titles this season.
• Freshman Kara Kaufmann leads the Auburn western squad with a 4-0 horsemanship record.
• Sophomore Haley Iannotti was the SEC October Rider of the Month for equitation on the flat after going 2-0 last month in the event.


• The 2016-17 season marks the 21st year of the Gamecock equestrian program.
• The Gamecocks have won three national championships (2005, 2007, 2015).
• South Carolina has two runner-up finishes (2006, 2014).
• Under the old championship format, the Gamecocks won three straight hunt seat championships between 2005 and 2007.
• Carolina has won two Southeastern Conference championships (2013, 2014).
• The Gamecocks won the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship, the precursor to the SEC Championship, which was added for the 2012-13 season.


• The 2016-17 campaign marks a milestone for South Carolina head coach Boo Major, who begins her 20th season at the helm of the Gamecock program.
• Major’s legendary career already includes three NCEA National Championships (2005, 2007, 2015), two SEC Championships (2013, 2014) and two national coach of the year awards (2014, 2015).
• Associate head coach Ruth Sorrel is in her 12th season with the Gamecocks. She leads South Carolina’s western team.
• Hillary Dobbs is in her third season serving as the team’s hunt seat coach.


• The Gamecocks return 29 student-athletes from last season’s squad, including 19 returners who competed in at least one meet last season.
• Sophomore Lizzie van der Walde leads all Gamecocks returners after earning 11 victories last season, while Schmidt, Sydney Smith and Bailey Walters each grabbed eight wins last season.
• Smith is the team’s active career leader with 18 career victories through the Fresno State meet.
• Head coach Boo Major rounds out the 2016-17 roster with 11 newcomers.


• South Carolina returns four student-athletes that garnered SEC postseason awards in 2015-16
• Leading the way is Bailey Mierzejewski, who was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a junior. The Mount Sterling, Ohio, native has maintained a 4.0 GPA in each of her semesters as a student in the South Carolina College of Pharmacy.
• Both of South Carolina’s 2016 SEC All-Freshman Team selections are back for their sophomore seasons: Madison Thiel, who earned the award in both horsemanship and reining, and Lizzie van der Walde, an All-Freshman pick in equitation on the flat.
• Last but not least, Bailey Walters looks to build on her SEC All-Championship Team reining honor from 2016. The junior was 2-0 last season at the conference tournament and earned Most Outstanding Performer honors against both Auburn and Texas A&M.


The Auburn meet concludes South Carolina’s fall season. The Gamecocks will return to action on Friday, Feb. 3, when they complete their season series with SEC rival Georgia. Start time in Bishop, Ga., is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, and the Gamecocks will stay in the Peach State to face Delaware State one day later.

Carolina handed Georgia a 9-8 loss in their first battle this season, on Oct. 9 at One Wood Farm. Down 8-7 with two horsemanship riders left, the Gamecocks got wins from Bailey Mierzejewski and Paige Stopperich to squeeze out a one-point victory.

The Gamecocks last faced Delaware State on March 4, 2016, a 10-6 road loss.