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    South Carolina Equestrian Falls To SMU

    WILMER, Texas - Top-ranked South Carolina overcame a one-point deficit twice during Sunday's meet at No. 10 Southern Methodist, but the Gamecocks lost their season finale to the Mustangs, 5-4, at Buck Branch Farm. The Gamecocks end the fall with a 4-2 overall record and a perfect 3-0 record in SEC play.

    "I thought SMU rode really well today and we certainly congratulate Coach Schoolfield and all of her riders," South Carolina head coach Boo Major said. "I'm really proud of our team for everybody's hard work this weekend and during the fall semester. We aren't going to hang out heads because I feel very good about this team and I know they believe in themselves, so we'll get back to work after the semester is over and we'll be ready for the spring."

    South Carolina opened the meet by winning the first two points, as redshirt sophomore Amber Henter and senior Kimberly McCormack both won their rides. Henter improved to 6-0 on the season she dropped the Mustangs' Rachel Reid, 86-77. McCormack followed with an 81-78 victory over SMU's Alex Butterworth. SMU rallied and took a 3-2 lead as the Mustangs won the final three points of the event.

    Sophomore Katherine Schmidt tied the meet at 3-3 when she opened the second round of Equitation on the Flat with a 90-81 victory over Erin Nelson. Schmidt's event-high score earned her the Most Outstanding Player award on the Flat. SMU jumped back in front 4-3, but freshman Sally Henry evened the score again as she defeated the Mustangs' Lucy Blundon. After freshman Samantha Kraus rode SMU's Greer Hidnle to an 80-80-tie, the Mustangs clinched the meet by winning the final Flat point.

    "I think our Flat riders rode really well today and they certainly gave us a good shot," Major said. "Katherine certainly had a beautiful ride, and riding against a zero - I think Sally was was effective and did what she needed to do for us to win that point. I thought all five of our Flat riders gave it everything today, but the points just didn't go our way."