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Gamecocks Sign Junior Rider of the Year Amelia Vernon to NLI

March 15, 2013

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COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina head coach Boo Major has announced the signing of Amelia Vernon (Calgary, Alberta/West Island College) to a national letter of intent to join the Gamecocks for the 2013-2014 season. She will be competing with the Gamecock Hunt Seat team and will get looks at both Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat.

"We've had a lot of success with riders from Canada, and Amelia comes to us with the most honors and awards of any of our previous Canadian signees, so we're excited about that," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "She's won more awards than I can name, but she has a lot going for her and we really think she's someone who can come in and help us on the Hunt Seat side."

Vernon trains with Jenn Serek, and has shown in equitation, hunt seat, and jumpers.

Named the Xerox Junior Rider of the Year in 2012, Vernon will join the Gamecocks with an extensive and successful riding resume. She represented Canada last year at the North American Junior/Young Riders Championships, and was a recipient of the Shalano Style of Riding Award (HITS Thermal 2012).

In 2011, she won the CET Medal Prairie Regional Final, along with a win at the National Canadian Hunter Derby Finals. Vernon was the champion at the Jump Canada Medal Final in 2011 and was named the Alberta Hunt Rider of the Year.

"We're extremely excited to have a Canadian join our hunt seat team," Hunt Seat coach Carol Gwin said. "Amelia has had extensive experience in both the equitation and the jumper rings, and we feel like she has the potential to be a valuable asset to our team. "

Born in Detroit, Mich., to parents Mike and Jane Vernon, Amelia Vernon has three brothers - Matthew, John, and William. Her father Mike Vernon is a former NHL goaltender and two-time Stanley Cup Champion with the Calgarly Flames (1989) and Detroit Red Wings (1997). Vernon played 19 seasons in the NHL, appeared in five All-Star games, and won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1997, awarded to the most valuable player in the playoffs. His 385 career wins place him 12th on the NHL's all-time career wins list.

Vernon will graduate high school from West Island College in Calgary, Alberta, and is expected to select a major in the College of Mass Communications and Information Studies.




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