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Gamecocks Fall to Auburn in Season Finale
Equestrian  . 

Gamecocks Fall to Auburn in Season Finale

April 14, 2017


Final Score: No. 3 Auburn 12, No. 6 South Carolina 4

Date: April 14, 2017

Venue: Extraco Events Center

Location: Waco, Texas

WACO, Texas — The 2016-17 season came to an end for the University of South Carolina equestrian team on Friday as the Gamecocks fell to Auburn, 12-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2017 NCEA Championship.

The No. 3 seed at the event, Auburn (10-4) advances to face Georgia Saturday in the semifinals. The Gamecocks end the season with a 7-9 record.

The Tigers opened the day by winning all four points in equitation over fences to build a sizeable lead. Carolina got on the board first when freshman Jordan Scott earned a 138.5-138 win over Alexa Rivard to win the reining matchup on Noodle. Still, the Tigers led at intermission, 7-1.

Action resumed with equitation on the flat, but Auburn was able to clinch the overall victory by sweeping all four points in the second hunt seat event. In the final event, horsemanship, Carolina picked up three of their four points. They got a victory from Ashley Reichert, who rode Pete to a 150-146.5 win over Lauren Diaz. Madison Thiel also took home a point, defeating Hannah Stephens by a score of 150-148.5 on Zip, and Paige Stopperich dropped Megan Ruah, 146.5-145, on Allen to close out the meet.

Despite the season-ending setback, the Gamecocks end the 2016-17 season with much to be proud about. Senior Bailey Mierzejewski was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, and Freshman Caroline Gute was named the league’s Reining Rider of the Year. The duo made up two of Carolina’s five All-SEC selections, joining teammates Chloe Schmidt (equitation on the flat), Madison Sellman (equitation over fences) and Sydney Smith (equitation over fences). Scott was also honored by the SEC as a member of the All-Freshman Team.

Gute led the way for Carolina in the national awards, as she was awarded a First Team All-America designation by the NCEA. Schmidt and Bridgett White (reining) were NCEA Honorable Mention All-America picks.

Last but not least, the Gamecocks stood tall as the nation’s top team in the classroom this season. Carolina led the nation with nine NCEA Academic First Team: Mierzejewski, Smith, Reichert, Stopperich, Thiel, Courtney Allen, Madison Butehorn, Lauren Fabiano and Megan Overberg. The Gamecocks earned 28 NCEA Honor Roll selections, also the highest mark in the sport.


“I am so proud of this team for their effort yesterday and today. There was no quit in them. Hats off to our horsemanship team for winning their event. Our entire team can hold their heads high, because I know they gave it their all. I can be disappointed for losing to a very good Auburn group, but I am in no way disappointed in the effort and commitment put out by our team today. I know we kept our poise, honesty and integrity throughout the weekend and the entire year. The University should be very proud of this strong group of young women!”


• Scott went 2-0 in her first appearance at the NCEA Championship; she also earned a 138-133 victory over her South Dakota State opponent on Thursday in the first round.
• Reichert, Stopperich and Thiel also went 2-0 in Waco; as a team, Carolina won seven of their eight horsemanship points.


The Gamecock head into a busy offseason, which includes individual competitions, the spring signing period and more. Be sure to follow and @GamecockEQ on Twitter for all the latest news on the Gamecocks before the 2017-18 season begins in October.