Western Squad Shines in Tight Battle with No. 1 Aggies

Kelly Bovaird

Feb. 26, 2011

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Eighth-ranked Kansas State won three MVP awards and defeated top-ranked Texas A&M in the Western portion of Saturday’s Big 12 Varsity Equestrian matchup, but the Aggies prevailed, 10-9, in a tightly-contested battle at Timbercreek Farms.

“I am extremely proud of our team,” said head coach Casie Lisabeth. “I thought they performed at a very high level today, especially our Western riders, against what is obviously a very good Texas A&M squad. Though we did not pick up the overall win, the three MVP honors and the win in Western gives our team something to build on as we get closer to the National Championships.”

Led by Kelly Bovaird and the Horsemanship riders, the Wildcats knocked off the Aggies, 5-4, in the Western portion of the match on Saturday.

Bovaird, who brought home a Western team-high seventh win on the season, defeated A&M’s Carey Nowacek, 74-72.5, and was joined by fellow freshman Rachel Wetherell, a 74.5-73 winner, in the win column. Rounding out the scoring in the Horsemanship discipline were sophomores Whitney Unkefer and Hannah Ribera for the Wildcats.

On the Reining side, K-State’s Emily Stockford knocked off A&M rider Courtney Dawe, 71-70, to pick up the discipline’s lone point of the day.

In the Hunter Seat arena, the Wildcats were paced by sophomore Kali Yates and junior Stephanie Patterson, who picked up match-MVP honors in Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat, respectively. Though the Aggies topped the Wildcats, 6-4, in the discipline, Yates and Patterson shined in the arena, besting their opponents, 84-70 and 89-0, respectively.

In Fences action, Shana Barnett notched a point by defeating her A&M counterpart. Melanie Hinzpeter picked up a victory in Equitation on the Flat, by defeating Aggie rider Elizabeth Solch.

K-State returns to action March 11 with a home match against Auburn at Timbercreek Farms.