|Friday, Nov. 17||12 p.m. CT|
|#4 Auburn at #10 South Carolina|
AUBURN, Ala. –The No. 4 Auburn equestrian team concludes the first half of the 2017-18 season on the road, facing No. 10 South Carolina Friday, Nov. 17. The Tigers and the Gamecocks will go head-to-head at 12 p.m. CT in Blythewood, S.C., at OneWood Farm.
"We're still feeling the sting of our mistakes these past two weekends so getting back in the arena for a meet is great even if it is on the road," head coach Greg Williams said. "I've been very impressed with the determination of this team. If grit is passion crossed with determination, then they have it and I love it."
The Auburn competition lineup is junior and freshman heavy, featuring nine juniors and four freshmen. Joining the group will be one senior and one sophomore.
Leading the Hunt Seat corps are a trio of junior All-Americans in Ashton Alexander, Caitlin Boyle, and Hayley Iannotti. The group is set to compete in both Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat. Alexander and Boyle went undefeated against No. 1 Georgia last week as Alexander picked up MOP honors in Fences with 92 points in her win. Boyle had a team-best 86 points in Flat vs. the Bulldogs.
Boyle and Iannotti hold a perfect 5-0 record in Flat for the Tigers, while Boyle stands at 4-1 in Fences. Boyle's nine wins overall so far this season is a team best.
Joining the three in both events will be a pair of freshmen in Gia Rinaldi and Taylor St. Jacques. Rinaldi is 2-2 both in Fences and Flat, having earned MOP honors in Fences vs. Baylor back in October. St. Jacques' first ride for team points was last week vs. Georgia as she scored 83 points in Fences.
The Horsemanship corps is full of experience as three juniors lead the squad in Lauren Diaz, Kelsey Jung, and Megan Rauh. Joining them will be sophomore All-American Kara Kaufmann and freshman phenom Deanna Green. Jung and Green lead the group with a 4-1 record on the year. Kaufmann is coming off a successful showing at the annual AQHA Collegiate Horsemanship Challenge in Oklahoma City last weekend where she earned Reserve Champion after going head-to-head with 15 other opponents from around the NCEA and the IHSA.
Auburn's Reining crew is led by senior Alexa Rivard. The Suwanee, Ga., product is just two wins away from breaking Indy Roper's (2009-13) career wins record of 34. Three juniors also headline the group in Betsy Brown, Ali Fratessa, and Blair McFarlin. Brown recently captured MOP honors vs. Georgia with 70 points in her win, while McFarlin is 3-1 in the event this season. Joining them is freshman Terri-June Granger who also stands at 3-1 overall with three MOPs to her credit this year.
AUBURN-SOUTH CAROLINA SERIES HISTORY
Auburn holds the edge in the series history with a 19-18 mark vs. the Gamecocks. The Tigers swept SC last year in the regular season, while also picking up a win over the Gamecocks at the NCEA Championship.
Auburn takes a break from competition before returning to the arena in January. The Tigers will head to Alabama for a Hunt Seat-only exhibition meet, Jan. 19. The team will follow with a busy weekend on the road, facing Baylor (Feb. 2) and Oklahoma State (Feb. 3) away from the Plains.