Boo Major • Head Coach • 18th Season
Among some of her many coaching highlights at South Carolina, Major guided the equestrian team to two overall national championships (2005, 2007) and three straight Hunt Seat national championships (2005, 2006, 2007). She also has led the Gamecocks to back-to-back SEC Championships in 2013 and 2014, as the equestrin team is the only team in South Carolina history to win consecutive SEC titles.
During the 2011-2012 season, the Gamecocks upset two No. 1 teams during the season en route to capturing the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship.
Major is the primary coach for the Gamecocks' Equitation on the Flat team.
Ruth Sorrel • Associate Head Coach/Western Coach • 10th Season
Like head coach Boo Major, Western coach Ruth Sorrel is a Gamecock alum, and was a former-student athlete at the University of South Carolina. Sorrel graduated from the Darla Moore School of Business in 2000.
From 1998-2000, Sorrel was a member of the equestrian team, serving as team captain during the 1999-2000 season. During her student-athlete career, she earned two SEC Academic Achievement awards and was a member of the Dean's list. She finished seventh at the IHSA Championship in 2000 in the AQHA Trophy Class.
Under Sorrel's guidance, current Gamecock Johnna Letchworth has garnered three straight NCEA All-America selections while boasting the best individual Horsemanship record since the 2010-2011 season. Sorrel has also had five of her Western riders qualify for the National Reining Horse Derby.
As the team's Western coach, Sorrel is the primary coach for both the Horsemanship and Reining squads.
Hillary Dobbs • Assistant Coach/Hunt Seat Coach • 1st Season
Hillary Dobbs is in her first season with the Gamecocks. She joined the coaching staff before the start of the 2014-2015 season.
During her professional riding career, Dobbs earned 31 grand prix wins, becoming the youngest rider ever to win over $1,000,000 in prize money. She set records as the youngest rider to win several major show titles, including being named the Leading Rider at the Devon Horse Show, Leading Rider at the Washington International Horse Show, Leading Rider at The Hampton Classic, Winner of the Hampton Classic Grand Prix, and Winner of The Falsterbo Swedish Derby.
Dobbs has won four gold and silver medals representing the United States in international team competition. She placed sixth at the 2008 Olympic Trials and sixth at the 2010 World Equestrian Games Trials. Dobbs also qualified and competed in two World Cup Finals.
In 2008, Dobbs was awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy by the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, which recognizes sportsmanship and horsemanship. She also won the Maxine Beard Award in recognition of her competitive record and promising future in the sport. Dobbs also won three gold medals and one silver medal for the United States team in the Nations Cup.
Maggie Barton • Barn Manager • 1st Season
Maggie Barton is in her first season as the Gamecocks' barn manager.
As South Carolina's barn manager, Barton is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations at One Wood Farm. She also manages the facility, supervise the care of the horses, and manage the barn staff.
Barton joined the Gamecocks after spending three years at Deer Creek Farm in Awendaw, S.C., where she trained horses and riders.
Barton began riding riding when she was seven years old. She trained primarily with Tracie Shutt in the Hunter/Jumpers during her beginner and junior years. She also trained with Paige Rassas-Sorce, Anne Morgan, Nancy Hoffman, and Greg Best.
In 2007, Barton traveled to Europe as a working student, studying dressage and jumpers for a year and a half. She returned to the United States where she completed her International Business degree from UNC-Greensboro, graduating in 2011.
Cory Burkarth • Media Relations Multimedia Coordinator • 6th Season
Cory Burkarth is currently in his sixth year as the Media Relations contact for the equestrian team. A 2009 graduate of South Carolina, Cory is responsible for maintaining the team's website on GamecocksOnline.com, along with writing all press releases and game recap stories.
Cory travels with the team to most of its away meets, as the Gamecocks are the only team in the country to provide Live Scoring at both home and away competitions.
Outside of his equestrian duties, Burkarth is the host for GamecocksOnline, the school's official athletics website. If you ever watch our equestrian videos online, he is the "voice" behind the camera that you never see!
Cory was named voted Teammate of the Year in the athletics department in 2012.
He is a native of Richmond, Va.