Boo Major, who has received state, regional and national recognition as a premier equestrian instructor for over 29 years, enters her 11th year in 2008-09 as head coach of the South Carolina equestrian team. Major, formerly Boo Duncan, has instructed riders throughout the southeast and has successfully competed at the national level over the past three decades.
A well-respected coach, Major has been a leader at the collegiate level since the varsity format was adopted in 2005. Her 42 overall victories and 13 victories at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships both rank second nationally in the current varsity format.
In the first seven years of coaching at USC, Major took 22 riders to compete as individuals to IHSA Nationals. Major coached the Zone 5 Region 2 High Point Hunt Seat rider fives times, including 2004 National Champion Tara Brothers. At the 2004 IHSA Nationals, Major received the Cacchione Cup/USEF Coach's Award, given to the coach of the IHSA National Hunter Seat Champion. She coached the High Point Western Rider, Assistant Coach Ruth Sorrel, of Zone 5 Region 2 in 2000.
During her tenure, Major has coached the 2005 and 2007 overall National Equestrian Champions, three consecutive Hunter Seat National Champions (2005-2007), and the 2006 VENC Reserve Championship. The 2006-07 Hunter Seat Team went undefeated on its ride to a third consecutive national championship. In addition, Major had three riders selected to compete in the 2006 National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Collegiate Derby.
Major also guided the career of Kristen Terebesi who in 2008 became the first person in VENC history to win two individual national championships in a single season. Terebesi took home the titles in equitaiton on the flat and equitation over fences to sweep Hunter Seat honors at the 2008 VENC's.
As a rider, Major has competed in hunter shows, eventing and dressage. She owns the Hanoverian stallion, Donnerkeil II, and is bringing along some of his offspring to compete and sell as well.
With the NCAA recognizing equestrian as an emerging varsity sport, Major has the opportunity to promote the sport at USC, to other Universities, the horse industry, the community at large and on the national level. The University of South Carolina was the first major Division I school in the nation to declare equestrian as a varsity sport and Major is proud to be associated with USC and its athletics department. For five years Major was the Chairman of the Varsity Equestrian Steering Committee. This committee has been organized to promote equestrian to other universities and to guide equestrian to becoming an NCAA championship sport. Major also served on the Legislative Committee for Varsity Equestrian and was the Head of the Varsity Equestrian Judges Task Force. She currently is the chair of the Competition Committee and is a member of the Officials Committee.
A Columbia, S.C. native, Major is a 1981 graduate of South Carolina and received her Master's degree from USC in 1990. She has taught equestrian at a number of different riding facilities across the state and coached many riders to regional and national honors. Major is also a Technical Delegate and "r" Eventing Judge with the US Equestrian Federation. She is a member of the American Quarter Horse Association, US Equestrian Federation, US Hunter Jumper Association, US Eventing Association and the South Carolina Coaches Association.
Major owns and operates a small breeding farm in Blythewood, where she currently stands Donnerkeil ll. She has an eight-year-old son Robert "Mac" McDow Major lll. An avid foxhunter, she also has two dogs, two cats, two birds and lots of fish in addition to her horses.