The Kansas State equestrian team will send six riders to Murfreesboro, Tenn., May 6-9 for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) national competition. The Wildcats will be going up against other schools in the IHSA with the English events on Thursday and Friday and the western disciplines set for Saturday and Sunday.
Riding on Thursday and Friday for K-State on the English side will be senior Janelle Orr, and juniors Dehlia Burdan, Sarah Waxman and Allison Woodworth. The two western riders competing Saturday and Sunday are senior Brandi Vogel and junior Erin Peery.
Vogel is the veteran of the group and has competed at nationals for the past two years. She brought home K-State’s first individual championship in 2002 in the advanced horsemanship competition. In 2003, Vogel brought home fourth and 10th places in open horsemanship and open reining, respectively. This year, Vogel will compete in open horsemanship.
Peery will be competing in open reining. While gaining experience last year competing for the western team, Peery placed fourth in open horsemanship for the fifth-place Wildcats.
Head coach Lindsay Breidenthal is looking for another great showing at nationals. “Brandi (Vogel) and Erin (Peery) are my top riders and have been all season,” said Breidenthal. “They are riding with great confidence and I have great confidence in both of their abilities to do well.”
Woodworth is the lone returner for the English team. She competed in 2003 both for the Cacchione Cup and as a team rider in open flat and open fences, but Woodworth was unable to place in these events. This year Woodworth will ride in open fences.
Burdan, Orr and Waxman are all newcomers to the national scene. Burdan has riden strong all season earning three High-Point Rider honors. She had the most points in Region 2 action, earning her the chance to compete at nationals for the Cacchione Cup. Orr has captured three first-place finishes thoughout the season, including a first-place finish at regionals in novice flat. This led her to compete at zones where she placed second and qualified for her first national appearance. Waxman is also on the way to her first national show after bringing home her second first-place finish of the season at zones in intermediate fences.
“I’m really looking forward to a great showing at nationals,” said assistant coach Meghan Cunningham. “We have four English riders that can ride well and really pull it off this year.”