No. 8 Gamecocks Take Down No. 9 Aggies for Season Opener
BLYTHEWOOD, SC – The No. 8 South Carolina Equestrian team opened up the 2023-24 season with a top-10 win on Saturday, taking down the ninth-ranked Aggies of UC Davis 11-8 at home at One Wood Farm.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Gamecocks took the event over UC Davis 3-2, with sophomore Natalie Jayne getting the first point on the board with a stunning ride on Tanner earning her a 92 over Carly Sweeney’s 83 on Tanner. The Aggies took the next point, but Ellie Beard’s 79 on Dento took down Aya Clear’s 77, and newcomer Grace Rabb put up a huge 87 on Barnaby to put South Carolina in the win column. Sarah Rabb came close, falling by a mere point to Marin Gilliand on Rio, 71-72.
South Carolina had huge success in the first Western event of the day, emerging victorious 4-1 against the Aggies. Carly Jenkins nabbed the first point for her team, winning her battle against Jordan Schween 72.5-71.5 on Max. UC Davis responded with a win on Houdini, but the Gamecocks swept the remaining points between Kiersten Beckner (73-69.5 on Paddy), rookie Jenna Berghorst (71-64.5 on Tulip), and co-captain Tierney Horton rounding things out with a 72.5-65 win on Chubby.
South Carolina led the Aggies at the half, 7-3.
Fences proved to be a tight battle between the squads, but the Gamecocks pulled out a 3-2 win in the end. Alexa Aureliano succeeded 84-83 on Joe against Emma Jolly, and Natalie Jayne defeated Lauren Kolbe 86-84 on Dexter. Co-captain Jordan Allen also took her point 78-69 on Quentin.
The first meet of the season wrapped up in the Western arena, with Chloe Stephenson scoring the lone point for her team in the event. Her 70.5 took down Amber Nusser’s 62.5. on Sparky in the final ride of the day, giving just the edge the Gamecocks needed to secure the 11-8 win. Co-captain Emilia Reutimann tied 68-68 on Chexie against Nicole Shroyer, and the Aggies took the other three points.
South Carolina swept the MOPs for the day, with Natalie Jayne earning the honor in both Fences and on the Flat, Tierney Horton for Horsemanship, and Chloe Stephenson for Reining.
The Gamecocks will stay home in Blythewood for a doubleheader next Friday, facing UT-Martin at 10:00 a.m., followed by Lynchburg (jumping seat only) at 2:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to follow along with in-meet updates on Twitter and Instagram, @GamecockEQ.