Boo Major, who has received state, regional and national recognition as a premier equestrian instructor for over 30 years, is in her 17th year as head coach of the South Carolina equestrian team. Major has instructed riders throughout the southeast and has successfully competed at the national level over the past three decades.
During her tenure at South Carolina, Major has led the Gamecocks to two NCEA Overall Championships (2005, 2007), three consecutive NCEA Hunter Seat National Championships (2005, 2006, 2007), one Southern Equestrian Championship (2012), and two SEC Championships (2013, 2014). She is a two time (2013, 2014) Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year winner, and she was named National Coach of the Year by the National Collegiate Equestrian Association in 2014.
On March 29, 2014, she became the first University of South Carolina head coach to win back-to-back SEC championships. The 2014-15 Gamecocks finished as the national runner-up, losing the national championship in a tiebreaker.
In 2014, she was recognized by the University of South Carolina's College of Mass Communications and Information Sciences as one of its two Distinguished Alumni award winners.
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 six riders selected to compete in the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Collegiate Derby the past three years.
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 equitation on the flat and equitation over fences to sweep Hunter Seat honors at the 2008 VENC's.
In 2009, four Gamecocks earned national seeds to the VENC individual brackets, including Megan Massaro who earned the top equitation on the flat seed as a junior.
As a rider, Major has competed in hunter shows, eventing and dressage.
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. She has a 15-year old son Robert "Mac" McDow Duncan III. An avid fox-hunter, she also has dogs, cats, birds and fish as pets.