Oct. 4, 2011
COLUMBIA, S.C. - As the 2-0 Gamecocks hit the road for the first time this weekend to face Auburn, GamecocksOnline spoke with South Carolina freshman Cody McMillion. Cody joined the Gamecocks after graduating from The Hammond School in Columbia. Cody is on the Gamecocks' Western squad and will be able to compete in both Horsemanship and Reining this season.
How are your first few months on campus going?
"My first few months of school have been great. It's amazing how fast the first month has gone by. The upperclassmen have all told me that the next four years would fly by, but I never imagined it would go by so fast especially the first month."
Now that the team is a few weeks into practice, how do you feel about the progress you are making?
"The first practice I did not know what to expect, however, I feel like I have adjusted well to the routine and am really starting to figure out the horses."
What is the biggest challenge for you as you adjust to the new "team-style" that exists in collegiate equestrian?
"My biggest challenge this year will be giving and receiving criticism. The captains have really been emphasizing working on this with all team members so I have made it my personal goal to work on it."
How do you like your teammates and coaches?
"After the first week of school I quickly learned that the girls on the team are not teammates, rather my family. Through the team I have received thirty plus new family members. Some are more like sisters, others crazy aunts, but all are my Gamecock family. I really like the coaches. They are very honest and supportive and I know if I ever need help or advice I can go to them."
What made you decide to be a Gamecock?
"The atmosphere of the team was the main selling point in my decision to be a Gamecock."
Do you have any specific goals for the upcoming season?
"One of my goals for this season is to show."
How old were you when you first started riding, and how did you first start riding (parents, friends, etc.)?
"I began my riding career before I could walk. Whether it was my sister or a family friend I always wanted to be in the saddle with them. Needless to say I was born to ride."
How do you get prepared or pumped up before you head into the ring for a big ride?
"It's a running joke in the family that I am a carnivore because I eat more meat than the average girl. So when I started getting into the habit of eating steak before a big show me dad began joking that I protein up rather than carb up. Also my trainer always asks me before I go into the arena if I'm nervous yet and if I say no he assures me that I only have a few seconds to get that way."
Outside of equestrian, do you have any other special or unique talents or sports?
"Outside of riding I sing. I was a member of audition only choirs throughout middle and high school. This talent has allowed me to travel to countries and immerse myself in their culture."
What is your major and explain why you chose it?
"My current major is pre-pharmacy and after completing pharmacy school I hope to work in compounding for either humans or equines."