MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State Equestrian team has signed three of the nation’s top prep riders to National Letters of Intent for the 2009-10 season as the Wildcats will welcome two Western and one English rider to the roster next season.
Both Western coach Casie Williamson and Hunter Seat coach Ashley Foster show enthusiasm and energy for the 2009-10 season with the addition of these three experienced riders.
Whitney Unkefer, Pleasant Valley, Mo. (Western)
Whitney comes to Kansas State with a lot of experience in her younger years. She was the President of the Missouri Quarter Horse Youth Association (MQHYA) for 2008 and 2nd Vice President of the MQHYA for 2006 and 2007. She is also involved in the American Quarter Horse Youth Association (AQHYA), as she is the 2008-09 Region 3 Director and was the 2006-2007 Region 3 Director. Unkefer was a member of the MQHYA Youth World Team for three years, and was on the MQHYA NYATT Congress team for one year. Whitney is the daughter of Robert and Michelle Unkefer.
Elisabeth Robinson, Columbus, Ohio (Western)
Joining the Wildcats next year is Columbus, Ohio, native Libby Robinson. She competed on her high school equestrian team and looks to bring depth to K-State’s roster. In 2007, she placed sixth in NRHYA world standings for youth, ages 14-18. Robinson has a lot of experience in the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA), an organization for middle and secondary school students. She was the national champion in 2007 and 2008, and a national qualifier for 2006, 2007, and 2008. She was also declared point rider for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Libby is the daughter of Steven and Syndee Robinson.
“I am thrilled to have Libby and Whitney as new additions to our team,” said Williamson. “Both girls are very enthusiastic about K-State and the team so I know they will fit right in. Libby has great experience in the Reining area and I expect her to make a big impact on the team. Additionally, she has competed on her high school equestrian team so she has an upper hand experience riding the unfamiliar horses. Whitney has a great seat and has had to ride some difficult horses which will help her adjust to collegiate riding. She is beautiful on a horse and I expect her to be strength for our team as soon as she gets here.”
Kristen Rheinlander, Manassas, Va. (Hunter Seat)
Also joining K-State is Kristen Rheinlander, a Manassas, Virginia native. Kristen has had a lot of success competing in the hunters and equitation divisions. Kristen qualified for the 2008 USEF Junior Hunter Finals. This year, Rheinlander won the HITS Culpeper Reserve Grand Circuit Champion in the Large Juniors. She also qualified for the VHSA Children’s Medal in 2006. Rheinlander won two varsity letters on her high school rowing team and was named MVP for two consecutive years. Kristen is the daughter of Thomas and Pamela Rheinlander.
“The Kansas State Equestrian Team is very excited to sign Kristen,” said Foster. “Kristen has enjoyed great success on the A circuit in the junior hunters unto the guidance of Peter Foley. Her experience will add depth to our hunt seat team. In addition to being an outstanding athlete, Kristen is an outstanding student. I am thrilled that she has decided to become Wildcat!”