Despite 2 nat'l titles, Gamecock equestrian team not well-known

By Mandy Mitchell - bio | email

Columbia, SC - COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Ray Tanner is now a rockstar in Columbia. That's what you get when you bring home a national championship in baseball.

Do it in equestrian and you get some confused looks. Equestrian Coach Boo Major has two national titles, and she's perfectly happy if you have never heard of her.

She is the first and only coach in the history of the Gamecock equestrian team. She pretty much built the program from scratch and has two national championships in her 12 years.

"I'm really proud of our team and what we've been able to do," said Major. "We hope to continue that tradition."

South Carolina is the first division one program to recognize equestrian as a varsity sport. Now other schools around the country are slowly following the lead.

"With equestrian being an emerging sports, there are not many teams, but you are really competing against the best," said Major.

While equestrian may be a growing sport, it's certainly not what you would call well-known, Boo says she rarely gets recognized in Columbia and most people are confused when he team gets off the bus before competitions.

"When the tall ones get off, they say, 'Oh it's volleyball or basketball.' When the short ones get off it's equestrian," said Major.

That's a fact Boo has accepted over the years. She doesn't expect everyone to be a fan of the sport, but she says she hopes the Gamecock fans are proud of it.

"I'm from Columbia so I'm not like the other coaches," said Major. "I've been a Carolina fan my whole life. It's been in my blood forever."

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