Feb. 9, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina equestrian team is back on the road this weekend for a pair of meets in the state of Texas. The Gamecocks face SEC rival Texas A&M on Friday at 11 a.m. CT (12 p.m. ET) and head north on Sunday to take on TCU at 10 a.m. CT (11 a.m. ET).
On Friday, the Gamecocks and Aggies begin with equitation on the flat, immediately followed by horsemanship. To close the meet, equitation on the flat and reining will run simultaneously.
Sunday’s meet begins with equitation over fences and horsemanship running simultaneously. The closing segment will feature reining and equitation on the flat running simultaneously.
South Carolina is 4-4 (1-3 SEC) and ranked No. 8 in the latest NCEA national poll to start the week. The Aggies occupy the No. 2 spot and are 6-2 (2-1 SEC) while the Horned Frogs carry the No. 10 ranking to go with a record of 3-4 (0-3 Big 12)
Fans can follow the progress of Friday’s competition through live results. Sunday’s meet with not feature live scoring, but fans can track the results of both competitions by following @GamecockEQ on Twitter.
QUOTING HEAD COACH Boo Major
“It was a close meet here in the fall (against Texas A&M), and it really could have gone either way. I think that has been one of our more disappointing losses. However, going into Texas A&M, they are a tough team to beat at their facility. That doesn’t mean our team isn’t capable of doing it. We just need to go in there and be prepared and not be intimidated. We need to be able to adjust to whatever horses we have to ride. And once again, we need to ride the best that we can ride and let the chips fall where they may.”
“There are a lot of challenges (with the TCU meet), because we don’t know the layout of the facility. We don’t know what the facility looks like. One of the positives, though, is that we see a lot of their horses at the National Championship, so hopefully we’ll see a lot of those horses come Sunday. They’ll also have some new ones, and frankly, that’s a great test for us going to SECs and Nationals. TCU is a good team, and regardless of their ranking they have the opportunity to beat any team on any given day. Honestly, I think our team is that way too, so I think it will be a great matchup on Sunday.”
LATEST SNAPCHAT TAKEOVER SCHEDULED FOR THIS WEEKEND
– The South Carolina equestrian program launched a new Snapchat account during the fall season to provide an 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 the weekend as Carolina student-athletes host another edition of the SNAPCHAT TAKEOVER, a special behind-the-scenes look at Carolina’s trip to the Peach State.
– Throughout the season, a selection of Gamecock student-athletes will host more editions of the SNAPCHAT TAKEOVER. Recent TAKEOVERS have included behinds-the-scenes looks at Carolina’s road trip to California, Honor Roll Night at a Gamecock basketball game, a look at the world-class One Wood Farm facilities and more. Make sure to follow “gamecockeq” on Snapchat today for a glimpse inside the lives of the Gamecocks.
LAST TIME OUT ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬” SOUTH CAROLINA 14, DELAWARE STATE 6
– South Carolina evened its record to 4-4 on the season with a dominant 14-6 victory over Delaware State on Feb. 4 in Bishop, Ga.
– Three Gamecocks won MOP laurels in the victory over the Hornet: Lauren Fabiano (equitation on the flat), Lizzie van der Walde (equitation over fences) and Madison Thiel (horsemanship).
– Thiel’s horsemanship point was her first this season to go with a 3-3 reining record. Two additional Gamecocks, Kara Guertin (reining) and Kirklen Petersen (fences), earned their first wins of 2016-17 against the Hornets.
– The Gamecocks fell in their first meet of the weekend, 14-5, to No. 7 Georgia. Despite the loss, Paige Stopperich (horsemanship) and Paisley Roberts (reining) were named MOP.
– Freshman Caroline Gute won both of her reining points last week and now sports a 6-0-1 record, including a 3-0 SEC mark.
SERIES HISTORY vs. TEXAS A&M
– South Carolina is 10-9 all-time against the Aggies, with A&M holding a 6-4 edge since joining the SEC prior to the 2013-14 season.
– Texas A&M won the first meeting this season, 10-8, on Sept. 30 at One Wood Farm.
– Madison Butehorn (equitation over fences) and Caroline Gute (reining) earned MOP laurels in the Sept. 30 loss to the Aggies.
– Carolina’s best event on Sept. 30 was jumping, where the Gamecocks won four out of five points.
– Chloe Schmidt was victorious in both hunt seat events in the earlier meeting with the Aggies.
– Carolina snapped a four-meet losing streak to Texas A&M in the 2016 SEC Championship, an 11-8 victory at the 2016 SEC Championship in Athens, Ga. Lizzie van der Walde (equitation over fences) and Bailey Walters (reining) were M.O.P. honorees that matchup.
– Schmidt was the equitation on the flat M.O.P. when the teams met last season in College Station
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
– Texas A&M is 6-2 this season, with a 2-1 SEC mark.
– The Aggies lost on a tiebreaker, 7-7, to New Mexico State in their spring opener on Jan. 28 but came back to beat SMU Feb. 4, 11-9. The Aggies trailed SMU, 9-6, before winning all five points in the final event, horsemanship.
– Rachel Hake (equitation over fences), Anna Rea (equitation on the flat) and Avery Ellis (horsemanship) took MOP honors for A&M in their win over SMU.
– Madison Bohman leads the Aggies in victories, with seven reining wins.
SERIES HISTORY vs. TCU
– The Gamecocks hold a 7-2 all-time edge over TCU, with a 1-1 record in meets hosted by the Horned Frogs.
– South Carolina beat the Frogs last season, 11-8, at One Wood Farm.
– The Gamecocks pulled ahead in last season’s meting by winning four points in horsemanship.
– Madison Thiel was the horsemanship MOP last season in the win, while current Gamecocks Raleigh Bacharach, Sydney Smith, Ashley Reichert, Bailey Mierzejewski and Bailey Walters each earned points.
– TCU last hosted the Gamecocks Oct. 26, 2008, a 12-7 win for Carolina.
SCOUTING THE HORNED FROGS
– TCU is 3-4 on the season and 0-3 in Big 12 competition. They host Fresno State on Saturday before welcoming the Gamecocks on Sunday.
– Rylee Morgan represented TCU as the horsemanship MOP in the loss to the Bears.
– Carly Lombard leads the Frogs with five victories this season, all in reining, while Brooke Boyle is a four-time reining MOP already this year.
CAROLINA CONTINUES TO HOLD NO. 8 RANKING IN NCEA POLL
– South Carolina is listed at No. 8 in the latest NCEA national poll, which was released Feb. 7.
– Carolina opened the season ranked eighth and has been listed in every poll this season, spending two weeks at No. 6 to mark the high watermark so far this season.
– SEC rivals Texas A&M (No. 2), Auburn (No. 3) and Georgia (No. 7) are ranked alongside the Gamecocks in the national top-10.
GAMECOCKS FEATURED IN SEC MONTHLY HONORS
– South Carolina student-athletes Madison Butehorn (equitation over fences) and Madison Thiel (reining) were honored as SEC Riders of the Month in September, while Paige Stopperich (horsemanship) was a conference honoree in October.
– All three Gamecocks went 2-0 in their winning months.
GAMECOCK PROGRAM HISTORY
– 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.
MEET THE COACHES
– 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 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.
AWARD WINNERS RETURN
– 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.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina has just two regular-season meets left after their Texas trip, beginning with a showdown against Auburn. The Tigers come to One Wood Farm at 10 a.m. ET on Feb. 25 for Carolina’s annual Equifest Kids Day event.
Carolina is looking to even the season series with the Tigers after suffering a 13-5 road loss on Nov. 18.
After the Auburn meet, Carolina closes the regular season on Saturday, March 4 against SMU before embarking on the SEC Championship (March 24-25in Auburn, Ala.) and the NCEA National Championship (April 13-15 in Waco, Texas).