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Katherine Schmidt Butler Named to 2023-24 Distinguished Alumni Class
Equestrian  . 

Katherine Schmidt Butler Named to 2023-24 Distinguished Alumni Class

WACO, Texas – Katherine Schmidt Butler, a four-year starter for South Carolina Equestrian, has been named to the 2023-24 Distinguished Alumni class, as announced by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) on Thursday, presented by LiveEQ.

The nominees for the award were evaluated based on their on their distinctive post-graduate success as well as performance in academics, athletics and service activities.

A Ridgefield, Conn. native, Butler was a member and point winner of the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship team, participated in the 2014 SEC Championship, and was part of the 2015 NCEA National Championship Team. Butler finished her career as the all-time leader for career wins (101) in NCEA history.

As a Gamecock, Butler cemented her name in the record books, holding multiple school records. Butler held the No. 1 spot for scores both on the Flat and in Fences (189 and 183 respectively), was No. 1 for career wins on the Flat at 46 and held the first-place spot for career wins in Fences at 55. Butler also held the title for the most MOPs in Fences at 17, both at South Carolina and in the NCEA.

As a freshman, Butler set a record for wins in Flat and Fences finishing a combined 25-7-0, and earned the Most Outstanding Freshman award for her team. She continued the trend in her upperclassmen seasons, ending No. 1 for most wins as a junior (30 between Flat and Fences) and senior (14 in Fences) in the disciplines.

Butler was a three-time All-SEC Team selection for both Flat and Fences and was a three-time NCEA First Team All-American in Fences. The Gamecock was a two-time SEC Rider of the Year and four-time SEC Rider of the Month for Fences, the most the program had ever seen. At the NCEA Championships, Butler was named to the All-Championship Team for both jumping seat disciplines and given the MOP honor in Fences.

In the classroom, Butler was a three-time NCEA All-Academic First Team Selection, four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member, and graduated Cum Lade with a double major in Marketing and HR Management with a minor in Sports and Entertainment.

In November of 2023, Butler was the first Equestrian in NCEA and NCAA history to have her jersey retired.

The 2024 class includes nine categories and honorees. For Business, Erin Prutow of Oklahoma State was selected. Julia Finn of TCU was chosen for the Community Engagement category. Dr. Lindsay Portela McGowan of Auburn was chosen for the Education distinction. For the Equine Industry distinctions, Jessie Weisinger of Texas A&M was chosen for the coaching category, Dr. Rachel Youngblood of Baylor was chosen for the medical category, and Katherine Schmidt Butler of South Carolina was chosen for the professional rider category. Baylor’s Dr. Amanda Miller was chosen for the Health Sciences category. Texas A&M’s Kate Bradley Byars is recognized for the Media & Communication category. For the Young Alumni distinction, TCU’s Raegan Rast was chosen.