Gamecock Equestrian Sets New Heights in Quarterfinals of NCEA Nationals
OCALA, FL – The No. 7 seed South Carolina Equestrian team (5-9) put up a tremendous fight against the second-ranked Auburn Tigers (12-2) in the NCEA Nationals quarterfinals on Thursday, earning top scores throughout the entire day of competition. Despite the effort, Auburn claimed the victory 13-7.
Competition began in the Jumping Seat arena in Fences, with South Carolina dealing the pressure after a solid first round of scores from Madeline Schaefer (263 on Hardy), Bella Primavera (260 on Cj), and Jordan Allen (249 on Clever). Schaefer gave the Gamecocks their first point of the day, with her 263 defeating Mary-Grace Seagars’ 253. Schaefer’s score marked the second-highest in program hisotry (three judges). The Tigers went on to take the remaining four points.
In the Western arena, Emilia Reutimann started off hot in Reining, scoring a 216.5 on Britany (second highest-score in program history), followed by Emma Lane’s 213 on Slash. Lane went on to get her point with the edge, taking down Alexia Tordoff’s 212. Senior Mary Margaret Coats wrapped up the event on a high note, excelling in her ride on Snoop Dog and winning her point for the Gamecocks 209.5-205.5 against Caroline Buchanan. The Tigers took the event 3-2.
After the half, Trinity Hammerschmidt opened her ride on the Flat with a 234 on Corvich, followed by Mary Hunter Millet’s 210 on Bravo. Sophomore Ellie Beard started the second round taking her point on Diablo, coming out on top of Ellie Ferrigno by a hair, 240-239. Natalie Jayne added a point of her own for South Carolina, with her 240 defeating Sophee Steckbeck’s 228 on Lina. Auburn took the event 3-2.
Despite the Tigers taking Horsemanship, two Gamecocks earned their points with impressive scores on the day. Kiersten Beckner had an excellent ride on Henry, ultimately edging out Olivia Tordoff 227.5-218.5. 5th year senior Alexa Thorpe followed suit, earning a 223.5 on Nona to take down Madison Parduhn’s 218. Despite a loss, Tierney Horton excelled, earning a 228 on Chili to set a new program record in the event.
South Carolina finished the season with the best start in program history (5-3), defeating three top-10 ranked teams, earning 23 MOPs, two All-Americans, and two All-Championship Team selections. The Gamecocks will be back in action this fall for the 2023-24 season.