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Feb. 24, 2017


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

Date: Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017

Equifest Kids Day Begins: 9 a.m. ET

Meet Begins: 10 a.m. ET

Venue: One Wood Farm

Location: Blythewood, S.C.

NCEA RANKINGS ââ’¬” 2/21/17
Team Record
1. Texas A&M 7-2
2. Baylor 10-3
3. Oklahoma State 6-2
4. Auburn 5-3
5. Georgia 7-4
6. Fresno State 7-4
7. SMU 5-4
8. South Carolina 5-5
9. New Mexico State 4-5
10. TCU 4-6

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina equestrian program is back at One Wood Farm on Saturday, Feb. 25 for one of the high points of the home schedule. The Gamecocks welcome Auburn for an SEC showdown, and Carolina will also host Equifest Kids Day on Saturday.

Equifest activities begin at 9 a.m. at One Wood Farm, with the meet against Auburn scheduled for 10 a.m. The Gamecocks and Tigers begin with equitation on the flat and horsemanship running simultaneously, followed by equitation over fences at 11:30 a.m. The meet concludes with reining, which starts at 12:30 p.m.

The Gamecocks are 5-5 (1-4 SEC) and ranked eighth in the latest NCEA national poll. Auburn is four spots ahead of Carolina, at No. 4, and the Tigers are 5-3 (2-2 SEC).

Live scoring is available throughout the meet, and fans can also track the meet’s progress by following @GamecockEQ on Twitter.


“Saturday is a great opportunity for kids of all ages to come out. We will have a lot of activities for the younger ones, but we will also have some opportunities for older kids to mingle with our team. Kids can feed carrots to the horses and have barn tours; there are a lot of opportunities for kids to interact with our team and the horses. It’s going to be a beautiful day out in the country. I can’t think of a better way to have a great time.”


– 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 meet on Saturday as junior Jaana Rasmussen hosts another edition of the SNAPCHAT TAKEOVER, a special behind-the-scenes look at Equifest Kids Day and the competition against Auburn.
– 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 trips to California and Texas, Honor Roll Night at a Gamecock basketball game, a look at the team’s world-class workout facilities and more. Make sure to follow “gamecockeq” on Snapchat today for a glimpse inside the lives of the Gamecocks.


Fans are encouraged to come hungry to Saturday’s meet, as concessions will be available throughout the day.


– For the safety of the riders and horses, pets are not allowed at One Wood Farm, including dogs. This rule does not apply to service animals.
– Noisemakers (spirit sticks, spirit clappers, spirit cowbells, stadium horns, megaphones, speakers, and bullhorns) are prohibited from being used at One Wood Farm.


– South Carolina earned perhaps the most dramatic victory of the season as it topped TCU, 9-8, on Feb. 12 in Springtown, Texas.
– Carolina fell behind 3-0 and 5-1, and the Gamecocks were down 8-7 with two riders left. Carolina got a reining victory from Paisley Roberts to even the score with one rider remaining, and that rider, TCU’s Carley Montemuro, was unable to match the 64.5 from Carolina’s Bridgett White, giving the Gamecocks a 9-8 victory.
– The victory was the fourth this season for the Gamecocks against an NCEA top-10 opponent.
Megan Overberg earned MOP honors in horsemanship for the Gamecocks.
Madison Thiel went 2-0 on the day, with wins in horsemanship and reining,


– South Carolina holds a 22-18 series lead over the Tigers, with a 9-5 mark at One Wood Farm.
– Auburn has won the last five meetings between with teams, including a 13-5 victory this season on Nov. 18.
Megan Overberg (horsemanship) and Bailey Walters (reining) won MOP laurels in the first meet with Auburn this season.
– The Gamecocks excelled in reining, winning four of the five points in the earlier meeting this season.
– The Gamecocks last defeated Auburn on Feb. 28, 2015, an 11-7 triumph at One Wood Farm.
– Among current Gamecocks, victories were earned by Sydney Smith (fences), Bailey Mierzejewski (horsemanship), Megan Overberg (horsemanship) and Paisley Roberts (reining) in the last victory over the Tigers.


– Auburn has won two of its last three competitions and owns a 5-3 record heading into Saturday’s conference battle.
– The Tigers are 2-2 in SEC meets, with both wins coming at home.
– Auburn last competed Feb. 18, a 17-2 win over Tennessee-Martin. Hayley Iannotti (flat), Ashley Foster (fences), Megan Ruah (horsemanship) and Blair McFarlin (reining) each won MOP accolades in the victory.
– Foster leads the Tigers with 10 total victories (four flat, six fences) this season. Ruah and Kara Kaufman sport a team-high five horsemanship wins while Alexa Rivard leads the Auburn reiners with four victories.


– South Carolina moved up one spot, to No. 7, in the Feb. 14 edition of the NCEA national poll but is back to No. 8 in the latest rankings, from Feb. 21.
– 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. 1), Auburn (No. 4) and Georgia (No. 5) are ranked alongside the Gamecocks in the national top-10.


– 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.


– 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 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.


– 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.


Carolina closes the regular season on Saturday, March 4 against SMU before embarking on the SEC Championship (March 24-25 in Auburn, Ala.) and the NCEA National Championship (April 13-15 in Waco, Texas).

The March 4 competition is Senior Day at One Wood Farm as the Gamecocks honor Courtney Allen, Makayla Clegg, Kara Guertin, Bailey Mierzejewski, Ashley Reichert, Lindsey Slack, Sydney Smith, Madeline Valenzuela and Amelia Vernon prior to their final home meet.