SIGNEE SPOTLIGHT: Natalie Vargo
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina equestrian head coach Boo Major has announced the addition of Natalie Vargo as a Horsemanship rider with the Gamecocks as a part of the 2019 signing class.
Vargo joins Carolina from Plain City, Ohio, where she is a senior at Fairbanks High School. Vargo has one sibling, a brother, Tyler Wells. Vargo will not be the first one in her family to attend the University of South Carolina, as her dad, Michael Vargo, was a defensive lineman for the Gamecocks.
Vargo trains with Robin and Jenny Frid, as well as Shawn Flarida at Robin Frid Show Horses and Shawn Flarida Reiners, respectively. In 2015, Vargo won two AQHYA World Championship titles in the Hunter Hack and Equitation on the Flat. In 2016, she won the World Show again in the Hunter Hack. The same year, Vargo won the 14-18 Hunter Hack at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress. This year, Vargo was bronze champion at the Youth World Championship Show in the Hunter Under Saddle and the Equitation on the Flat.
This year at Congress, Vargo was reserve in the 15-18 Equitation on the Flat and was Congress Champion in the NYATT Equitation on the Flat. She has been reserve at Congress six times ranging in events from Western Pleasure to Working Hunter. Vargo has been top-10 multiple times at the AQHYA World Show and the All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Horsemanship, Equitation, Showmanship, Reining and all Hunter classes.
Once at South Carolina, Vargo will join the Western group for Reining with assistant coach Ruth Sorrel. Vargo intends to major in criminal justice and has the career goal of being a homicide detective.
Head coach Boo Major
On Natalie Vargo joining the program:
“She has done quite well in Horsemanship, Showmanship, Reining and All-Around. She’s garnered top-10s at Congress and Youth Worlds in many of those categories. We know she’s going to succeed in whatever she does, she’s extremely competitive, she takes after her dad, probably her mom, too. She’s going to get out there and get the job done for us. We’re excited about Natalie and think it’s going to be a great time next year when she comes and joins us.”
On what Major sees from Vargo:
“We are excited about the prospect of her helping us on both sides (in Horsemanship and Reining). We think she’s going to be a huge asset to us. We’re looking forward to her coming in and we’re very excited about her coming and joining our team.
On choosing South Carolina:
“Ever since I was little I wore one of my dad’s USC football shirts and I always thought to myself, ‘I would love to go there.’ I love the coaches and the program. When I stepped on campus it felt like home.”