CAMDEN, SC (WIS) - It's supposed to be one of the elite equestrian events in the entire southeast, but Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews says Carolina Cup has become a hot bed of fighting, drinking, and general mischief due to the students at College Park.
College Park is the section of the event reserved for coeds from across the south.
"They come in respectful and the more the day goes on, the less respectful they get," Matthews said of the students who attend the event.
Matthews and his deputies are in charge of the College Park crowd. This weekend, he says his deputies, along with the State Law Enforcement Division and USC police, arrested 225 students. He says there were only about eight arrests in the other sections.
The sheriff says there were a few fights in the area, but that's not all his deputies spotted.
"There was a couple having sex in the Kershaw County mounted patrol horse trailer," Matthews said.
The biggest problem, Matthews says, is the drinking -- some of it underage and much of it excessive.
"There was one girl found passed out on a couch," Matthews said. "She'd urinated on herself, unresponsive, had almost no pulse. And I'm told had it been 25-20 minutes longer she would've died."
The sheriff says he thinks there is a lot of good in the Carolina Cup; it makes money for charity and for the county. He says he is going on the record because he wants something done specifically about College Park.
"If the people who criticize me about taking a stand against the College Park side of the Cup were to see what we see, I think they'd change their mind," Matthews said.
The sheriff hopes Cup organizers, officers, and colleges can work together to tame down what's happening inside of the cup.
"We're not trying to spoil anybody's fun, we're just trying to keep a parent from getting that call from the coroner's office," Matthews said.
Carolina Cup organizers did speak with us over the telephone, but declined an on-camera interview. When asked about the amount of police reports from the weekend, they said they would not be able to talk about it until tomorrow.