Keenan Qualifies at IHSA Western Shows

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Nicole Keenan qualified for IHSA Regional competition in Advanced Horsemanship with a strong ride in Saturday's first of two IHSA Western Shows at Fox Creek Farm.

Keenan, a senior from Oakley, needed just three points Saturday to advance and placed third in section B of the Advanced Horsemanship competition to earn a bid to Black Hawk College in two weeks. Her performance also earned her a spot in the Open Horsemanship category in the afternoon show, where she placed first out of 10 riders.

"I was extremely happy to qualify and am looking forward to competing strongly in the postseason," Keenan said following the show.

The Wildcats had just nine total riders show in the morning, four of which competed in the Open Horsemanship category. Kyla Copple took first place, while teammate Alise Dykstra followed behind in second. McKenzie True took fourth and Rebecca Wallisch fifth as K-State earned four of the top five rides in the category.

Also in the morning show, Karen Riley took first in Advanced Horsemanship, while Jennifer Keefe placed second in section B of the same category and Keenan third. Rounding out the morning show for the Wildcats was Libby Robinson, who took second in Open Reining.

"We had some great rides today and a lot of our riders got some really valuable experience," said head coach Casie Lisabeth."Nicole Keenan had a great ride which rounded out her points to qualify her for the IHSA Regional competition in Advanced Horsemanship. Our team does a great job hosting shows and I really appreciate their hard work and efficiency today."

Keenan's win in Open Horsemanship highlighted an afternoon show that was light on Wildcat participants, while Dykstra, Tiana Shelton and Copple's second, third and fourth-place performances gave the class a distinct purple hue.

Alayna Warner took second in the afternoon Reining class, while Robinson went on to finish in fourth in the category. In Advanced Horsemanship, Riley wrapped up second place while Keefe finished sixth to round out the Wildcats in action on Saturday.

Next action for Kansas State is March 7 when it hosts Georgia in a Varsity competition. The show will be the last for this year's senior class and those individuals will be honored. The competition begins at 9 a.m. from Fox Creek Farm.