Gamecocks Set to Host No. 1 Georgia in National Championship Rematch
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s fifth-ranked equestrian team gets underway with conference action on Friday, when the Gamecocks host No. 1 Georgia in their home and SEC opener. Friday’s meet will begin at 2 p.m. at One Wood Farm in Blythewood, and admission is free.
“Our work is going to be cut out for us as we get ready to face a very tough Georgia team,” South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. “We went back to the tape from our Kansas State meet and saw some areas that we needed to get better in, and the girls have come back and had a very productive two weeks of practice. They’ve been focused on getting better each day and I think they’re looking forward to what is always a very competitive meet against Georgia.”
ABOUT THE GAMECOCKS
• This season marks the 19th year of Gamecock equestrian.
• The Gamecocks have won two overall national championships (2007, 2005).
• The Gamecocks have twice finished as the national runner-up (2014, 2006).
• The Gamecocks won three straight hunter seat championships (2007, 2006, 2005) under the old national championship format.
• The Gamecocks have won two Southeastern Conference Championships (2014, 2013).
• The Gamecocks won the 2012 Southern Equestrian Championship, the precursor to the SEC Championship which started with the 2012-2013 season.
SCOUTING THE GAMECOCKS
• The Gamecocks are 0-1 this season. South Carolina dropped its season opener, 10-8, at Kansas State on Sept. 19.
• South Carolina is currently ranked No. 5 in the NCEA team rankings.
• Two of the Gamecocks’ next three competitions are at home.
• Six of the Gamecocks’ next nine competitions are on the road.
• Carolina’s next three competitions are all against SEC meets.
SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
• Friday’s meet is Georgia’s first competition of the 2014-15 season.
• The Bulldogs are ranked No. 1 in the NCEA team rankings.
• Georgia won last year’s NCEA National Championship, defeating the Gamecocks in a tiebreaker.
LAST TIME OUT
South Carolina dropped its season opener, 10-8, at Kansas State on September 19. The Gamecocks won five hunt seat points and three western points in the loss. Gamecock seniors Katherine Schmidt (equitation over fences) and Sam Chiodo (horsemanship) both won MVP honors.
The Gamecocks and Bulldogs last met in the 2014 NCEA National Championship. In a rematch just 22 days after the two teams met in the SEC Championship meet, the Bulldogs edged the Gamecocks in a 8-8 tiebreaker. Georgia jumped out to an early 3-1 lead after equation on the flat, but Carolina’s horsemanship team rallied to win 3-of-4 points to tie the meet at 4-4. The Gamecocks won 3-of-4 points again in equitation over fences to take a 7-5 lead, but the Bulldogs won 3-of-4 points in reining while outscoring the Gamecocks to win the tiebreaker.
LAST MEETING IN BLYTHEWOOD
South Carolina and Georgia’s last Blythewood showdown took place in the 2014 SEC Championship meet on March 29. The Gamecocks won their second straight SEC crown, becoming the University of South Carolina’s first team to win back-to-back SEC titles. Deadlocked in a 10-10 tie, the Gamecocks narrowly prevailed on the tiebreaker – 4,040.25-4,036.75, a difference of 3.5 points.
The Gamecocks jumped out to an early 3-2 lead after equitation over fences. Georgia rallied in horsemanship, wining 3-of-5 points to tie the meet at 5-5. The teams traded points back-and-forth as reining and equitation on the flat ran simultaneously. Carolina at one point led the Bulldogs, 10-7, but Georgia won the final three points of the meet to force the tiebreaker.
LAST REGULAR SEASON MEETING
The Gamecocks and Bulldogs last met in the regular season on Feb. 8, 2014 in Bishop, Ga. The Gamecocks, then ranked No. 1, defeated Georgia, 10-9, becoming the first team ever to beat the Bulldogs three straight times at the UGA Equestrian Complex.
LAST REGULAR SEASON MEETING IN BLYTHEWOOD
South Carolina and Georgia’s last regular season competition at One Wood Farm took place last fall on October 11. The Bulldogs won the meet on a 9-9 tiebreaker, 1,808-1,582.25.
Friday’s competition between the Gamecocks and Bulldogs will mark the 11th straight meeting in which one of the teams has been ranked No. 1.
• April 19, 2014 – No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 1 South Carolina (Lost 8-8)
• Mar. 29, 2014 – No. 2 Georgia vs. No. 1 South Carolina (Won 10-10)
• Feb. 8, 2014 – No. 1 South Carolina at No. 6 Georgia (Won 10-9)
• Oct. 11, 2013 – No. 1 Georgia at No. 3 South Carolina (Lost 9-9)
• Apr. 20, 2013 – No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 3 Georgia (NCEA Western, Lost 3-5)
• Mar. 29, 2013 – No. 6 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Georgia (Won 10-7)
• Feb. 2, 2013 – No. 3 Georgia at No. 1 South Carolina (Lost 8-11)
• Nov. 2, 2012 – No. 2 South Carolina at No. 1 Georgia (Won 11-8)
• Apr. 14, 2012 – No. 3 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Georgia (NCEA Hunt Seat, Lost 3-5)
• Mar. 31, 2012 – No. 6 South Carolin at No. 1 Georgia (Won 10-10)
In the season opener at Kansas State, Gamecock senior Katherine Schmidt went 2-for-2 went one MVP. Schmidt improved to 8-0 all-time in season opening competitions. Senior Layla Choate is also undefeated with a 4-0 all-time record in season openers.
The Gamecocks travel to Auburn, Ala. next weekend to face the third-ranked Tigers. South Carolina and Auburn will get underway on Friday, Oct. 10 at 4 p.m. ET. The Tigers are 1-0 this season after defeating Tennessee-Martin in its season opener.