University of South Carolina head coach Boo Major announced on July 25 the hiring of Hillary Dobbs as the Gamecocks’ new hunt seat coach. Dobbs replaces Carol Gwin, who was named head coach at Southern Methodist University (Texas) in June.
“We are extremely excited about adding Hillary to our staff with the experience and success that she's had as a professional,” Major said. “In a very short amount of time, she has proven that she is a top notch rider with international experience and has had great success as a trainer as well. Hillary will be a huge asset to our program, and we are excited to have her join us.”
During her professional riding career, Dobbs earned 31 grand prix wins, becoming the youngest rider ever to win more than $1,000,000 in prize money. She set records as the youngest rider to win several major show titles, including being named the Leading Rider at the Devon Horse Show (Pa.), Leading Rider at the Washington International Horse Show (D.C.) and Leading Rider at The Hampton Classic (N.Y.).
“I am excited to be joining the University of South Carolina and to be a part of the winning tradition that Boo and Ruth have built here," Dobbs said. “I am looking forward to working with the talented riders that make up our team and doing everything I can to help continue South Carolina's success in the ring.”
Dobbs placed sixth at the 2008 Olympic Trials and sixth at the 2010 World Equestrian Games Trials. She also qualified and competed in two FEI World Cup Show Jumping Finals.
In 2008, Dobbs was awarded the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy by the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation, which recognizes sportsmanship and horsemanship. She also won the Maxine Beard Award in recognition of her competitive record and promising future in the sport. Dobbs also won three gold medals and one silver medal for the United States team in the Nations Cup.
Dobbs worked as a rider and assistant trainer at Redfield Farm in 2012 and went on to work at Old Salem Farm in the same capacity. A native of Sussex, N.J., Dobbs graduated from Harvard University in 2010 with a degree in government.