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Jan. 28, 2017


Hunt Seat Final Score: South Carolina 7, Converse 3

Western Final Score: South Carolina 7, Ohio State 1

Date: Jan. 28, 2017

Venue: One Wood Farm

Location: Blythewood, S.C.

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — The University of South Carolina equestrian program started the spring season with two great performances on Saturday, as they earned victories over Ohio State and Converse. The western squad knocked off the Buckeyes, 7-1, while the hunt seat team dispatched of the Valkyries, 7-3.

Both meets are unofficial and do not count toward Carolina’s 2016-17 record. The No. 8 Gamecocks (3-3, 1-2 SEC) resume the regular season on Friday with a competition at Georgia.

Carolina captured all four MOP awards on Saturday. Lizzie van der Walde was honored in both equitation on the flat and equitation over fences, while Makayla Clegg was the reining MOP and Courtney Allen received the award for horsemanship.


“I think a lot of what we did today is confidence building. I think our girls ride really well, but sometimes we have some mental breakdowns. Almost everyone rode with a huge amount of mental toughness today. Our horses were really good today, so it was nice for them to behave themselves. That’s also a compliment to Ohio State and Converse, because they were able to ride our horses that aren’t always great. It was a great experience for our horses, but a better experience for our riders to get some confidence to know that they’re ready to go against really good Georgia and Delaware State teams next week.”


The Gamecocks won three of the five jumping points. Chloe Schmidt opened the meet with a narrow 84-83 win over Lydia Davidson on Batman. Madison Sellman followed with an 85-73 victory on Leon over Converse’s Madison Orr, and van der Walde secured the third point, 86-76, over Madeline Wagner. At the end of fences, Carolina led the Valkyries, 3-2.

The MOP award went to van der Walde, whose score of 86 paced all riders on Saturday.


After a tight jumping battle, Carolina secured the victory by winning four of the five flat points. The first point went to van der Walde, who took down Gabrielle Franklin, 85-68, on Mike. Amelia Vernon rode Eddie to a 73-60 win over Julia Williams, and Sarah Isgett dropped Orr, 76-64, on Jersey. The final point went to Sellman, who garnered her second win of the day on Fina with a 77-65 win over Wagner.

After pacing all riders with her score of 85, van der Walde was awarded her second MOP accolade of the afternoon.


Carolina won both points against Ohio State. Clegg defeated Sarah Yu on Puffin, 72-0, and Joanie Lehman was a 69-67 victor over Grace Tachikawa, riding Jack. There were also two exhibition rides among Gamecocks. Jordan Scott won her battle with Aurie Engel Schmieding, 72.5-71.5, on Magnum, while on Wrangler Madison Thiel won against Kara Guertin, 71.5-69.5.

Clegg, who finished with the second-highest point total among reiners, was awarded MOP honors for her ride on Puffin.


South Carolina and Ohio State each fielded seven horsemanship riders on Saturday, and the Gamecocks earned five points. Farley Wickre grabbed a 70-0 win over Catherine Lach on Reggie, and fellow freshman Madelynne Herlocker took a 71-69 victory from Jillian Channel, riding Amos. On Barbie, Lindsey Slack was a 71-66.5 winner over Grace Rea, and Allen followed with a 71.5-69 triumph over Tachikawa. The last point went to Thiel, 71.5-67, as she earned the win over Morgan Keihl on Caper.

Allen’s 71.5 was tied for the best score of the day, and she was named MOP.


• Both Clegg and Allen are first-time MOP winners this season, while van der Walde won for the first time over fences this 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.