The Daily Gamecock

ONLINE ONLY: Equestrian to be tested against Texas A&M

While searching for the right balance, South Carolina’s equestrian team prepares to take on Texas A&M Thursday, Oct. 29. 

The No. 4 ranked Gamecocksare coming off a two-week break after falling to the Auburn Tigers14-9. Battling an equal opponent like Texas A&M (2-1, 0-1) will shine some light on where South Carolina (2-1, 0-1) stands. The Gamecocks first two wins against South Dakotaand Texas Christian University came easily, but Auburnwas tougher than expected.

The horsemanship lineup has greatly improved from where it began. That’s where the Gamecocks earned most of their points against Auburn. Western team captain Abigail Pait earned Most Outstanding Player honors for her performance, proving the riders have a good leader guiding them.

While fighting against Auburn, the horsemanship group cut into the lead and rekindled hopes of a comeback. This section of the equestrian team is dependable and can handle the pressure when the going gets tough.

Equitation on the flat and over fences is where the Gamecocks lost the most ground, giving up eight points between the two events.The main issue is the large point gaps. The losses ranged from .5 to 20 points, something that must be addressed. If they can tighten up their performances, the points will follow suit.

There may be a need for rearrangement, something head coach Boo Major hinted at before the season began. Major isn’t afraid to make needed changes, and some may be around the corner. There is room for modifications in reigning, but the riders are only losing by small margins. They just need that extra push to collect for victories.

The Aggies  will be difficult to overcome. The team is ranked sixth in the NCEAafter defeating Fresno State and New Mexico Statein a doubleheader, winning 9-9 and 14-1 respectively.Texas A&M shut out New Mexicoin reining, western and equitation over fences. Fresno State put up a fight and forced the competition to a decision via tiebreaker score. Texas A&M’s weak spot seems to be equitation on the flat, as they lost six out of nine matches in that section last weekend. Nevertheless, they will be riding a wave of momentum after their two impressive wins.

South Carolina is pitted against a fierce competitor this weekend, and victory is possible if they make the needed adjustments. It won’t be easy battling Texas A&M in their home opener. However, the Gamecocks have the riders and coaching to make it happen. The competition is scheduled for 11 a.m. in College Station, Texas.


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