Gamecocks Host Rival Auburn Friday at 2 p.m.
Sept. 30, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina equestrian team will host the Auburn Tigers on Friday at 2 p.m. in the Gamecocks' final home meet of the fall semester. Friday's competition at One Wood Farm is free and open to the public.
"We're really excited about Friday's competition, we know it's going to be a great one," head coach Boo Major said. "Auburn always shows up with a well-prepared team, and they have a very talented group of riders, so we know they'll be ready."
The Gamecocks are 2-0 after defeating SMU and South Dakota State over the weekend. Sophomore Kimberly McCormack went 2-0 against the Mustangs last Friday and was named MVP for both Hunt Seat events. She finished the weekend 3-0 and was named AgSouth Athlete of the Week for her performance. Junior Taylor Singmaster was the other Gamecock rider to earn and MVP honor, as she won the award in Horsemanship during Saturday's win over the Jackrabbits.
Auburn is coming off a 2-0 weekend too as the Tigers defeated Kansas State and South Dakota State. The Tigers dominated both opponents, beating Kansas State 14-4 on Sept. 23 and beating South Dakota State 15-4 on Sept. 24.
In Equitation on the Flat, juniors Colvin Hedgepeth and Carolyn Curcio are in the lineup for the Gamecocks along with McCormack, and freshmen Emma Johnson and Rachel Roter. Hedgepeth and Curcio combined to go 3-1 last weekend in Equitation on the Flat. Both Johnson and Roter competed last weekend as well, as Roter defeated her South Dakota State opponent on Saturday.
In Equitation Over Fences, coach Major and assistant coach Carol Gwin will leave Curcio, McCormack, and Johnson in the lineup to compete in both Hunt Seat events. McCormack and Curcio competed in both Hunt Seat events on Sept. 24, with both riders going 2-0. Johnson has experience in both events as well, as she competed in Equitation on Sept 24., followed by her victory over the Jackrabbits in Equitation Over Fences on Sept. 25. They will be joined in the lineup by junior Paige Dekko and sophomore captain Alex Arute. Dekko is 1-0 after defeating SMU's Marissa Djernes on Sept. 24., and Arute is off to a 2-0 start as she won both of her opening weekend rides.
The Western team will compete the same lineup on Friday that it used to defeat South Dakota State 5-4 last weekend.
In Horsemanship, senior Hailey Thornton will lead riders Maggie Fortune, Taylor Singmaster, Johnna Letchworth, and Katie Kopf against the Tigers. Thornton, Fortune, and Singmaster all won their rides against the Jackrabbits on Sept. 25, with Singmaster earning an MVP for her 74-72.5 victory over South Dakota State's Maggie Holzworth.
In reining, senior captain Chloe Gray will lead the Gamecocks against Auburn. Gray, who went 4-0 at last year's Varsity Equestrian National Championships has won five straight times in reining, and has not lost since she fell to Auburn's Jillian Fuller at the Southern Equestrian Championships on March 26. She will be joined in the lineup by junior Annie McDonald, sophomore Amanda Pope, and freshmen Melia Blakely and Jordan Brown. Gray and McDonald were the only reiners to score points for the Gamecocks last weekend, but Pope, Brown, and Blakely all lost to the Jackrabbits by the narrowest of margins. Brown lost in first collegiate competition 74-72.5, Blakely lost in her first competition 73.5-73, and Pope lost her ride 71.5-70.5.
"All of our reiners have looked good so far this season," Major said of her youth-heavy reining team. "They rode well last weekend and even though Amanda, Melia, and Jordan all lost their points, we know they are great riders and that's why coach Ruth Sorrel is using the same lineup from last weekend. Auburn has a more experienced group of reiners, so our girls will certainly be tested on Friday."
Directions to One Wood Farm: Take I-77 N. to Exit 27, which is Blythewood Road. Turn left and cross back over I-77 and pass Cobblestone Park. Then turn right on the first road on the right, which is Syrup Mill Road. One Wood Farm is the first driveway down on the left, and it will be marked by a large sign with a Gamecock logo.
Live Scoring Information: Fans not able to Friday's competition but want to follow the action from Blythewood can do so by viewing our Live Scoring page. Scores will be updated immediately once they are announced, and fans viewing the Live Scoring page will need to hit the refresh button to get the latest scores as the judges announce them.
Live Scoring Page link - South Carolina vs. Auburn