MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State equestrian team, ranked ninth nationally in the latest Varsity Equestrian National Coaches Poll, will face tough competition this weekend as it hits the road for Stillwater, Okla., to face the No. 5 ranked Cowgirls of Oklahoma State. The show is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Animal Science Arena in Stillwater.
K-State will look to avenge its loss to Oklahoma State back in the fall this weekend in Stillwater. The Cowgirls knocked off the Wildcats, 13-7, in Manhattan back on November 21.
“The show this weekend at OSU will be a true test to the girls’ hard work and preparation,” said Casie Williamson, Western head coach. “We expect tough competition in every ride, and we plan to be clean and strong through each ride. New Mexico State gave us the boost of confidence we needed to get ourselves mentally prepared and I feel strongly that the western riders are ready for this weekend’s challenge.”
In the horsemanship discipline, K-State will be showing seniors Jana Lechtenberg and Alyssa Freeman, juniors Laura Browne, Mikaela Sundgren, and Courtney Watters, and sophomore Sierra Fredrick. Freeman will lead the Wildcats this weekend with an outstanding 7-1 horsemanship record on the year, along with Fredrick’s undefeated 3-0 mark in varsity competition.
Sophomore Alecia Zimbelman will lead K-State in all aspects of reining competition as she holds an impressive 7-1 mark on the year. She also leads the team with three MVP honors. Seniors Tara Hallan and Alyssa Freeman, and juniors Morgan Campbell, Kaylee Stout, and Dani Pettera will also be riding for the Wildcats this weekend.
Senior Whitney Snyder will pace the Wildcats in Hunter Seat competition. Snyder holds a 6-1 record over fences and is 5-2 on the flat to set her overall total at 11-3 with two MVP honors on the year. Other riders showing over fences are senior Leslie Yates, juniors Ashley Collett and Kendall Marvin, sophomore Jen Rawle, and freshman Kate Hennessy.
Five seniors will lead the way for K-State on the flat including seniors Jenny Giraldin, Yates, Snyder, Dresden Sommer, and Katie Mellon. Stephanie Patterson, the lone freshman competing on the flat, will be riding for the Wildcats as well.
“OSU is a strong team,” said Ashley Foster, Hunter Seat head coach. “We will need to pick it up in order to be competitive. At this point in our season, we need to pull together to turn around our season. Our riders are very capable of riding well; we just need to reach down deep to find the confidence required to win.”
K-State will have several riders compete on the exhibition level this weekend. Junior Bridget Doyle will show in exhibition fences and seniors Hannah Schroller and Erin Paulsen on the flat. In western competition, junior Dana Johnson will be riding in the reining discipline. Junior Josie Kness will lead the Wildcats in exhibition horsemanship with a 3-0 record on the year, with senior Caley Coffey and sophomore Erica Mackiewicz showing as well.
Oklahoma State will be showing a strong lineup this weekend as well. Sophomore Courtney Whitacre maintains a 4-0 record on the year with two MVPs, while senior Jordan Pickelman is 5-0 and has one MVP honor in horsemanship. In the reining battle, junior Leah Kuehn and sophomore Bri Parnell have combined for a 9-0 record and two MVP awards on the year.
Junior Ally Blais will lead the Cowgirls over fences as she holds on to a 5-1 record with one MVP award in the fall season. Senior Sarah Summers will also be a strong competitor for the Cowgirls as she is undefeated on the year and has two MVP honors.
Results from Saturday’s show will be posted as they become available.
K-State’s full lineup is as follows.