No. 6 K-State Tames Bulldogs, 9-6

FRESNO, Calif. – The sixth-ranked K-State equestrian team got back on track Saturday, taking down No. 10 Fresno State, 9-6, to notch its first win of the spring season.


“Today was a great day for our riders,” said head coach Casie Lisabeth.  “We saw a lot of confident rides that we knew were in our riders all season. I’m really proud of all of them being flexible and making adjustments today, while still being able to keep their heads in the game so well.”


K-State (5-6) was able to take home three of the four MVP awards on the day, sweeping the hardware in every discipline but Equitation Over Fences. The win also marked the Wildcats first win over a top-ten opponent on the road this season.


The Wildcats got things started in the Hunter Seat, riding Fresno State (5-7) to a 4-4 draw before taking the competition to a tie-breaker, where each teams’ lowest individual score was dropped. K-State prevailed with a 513-465 decision following the tie-breaker. 


In Equitation Over Fences, K-State split the points with the Bulldogs, 2-2. Senior Katie Mellon improved her record over fences to 6-2, defeating Fresno State’s Lisa Wells, 81-50. Fellow senior Bridget Doyle picked up the other Wildcat point in the discipline, riding past Jessica Kissell, 81-45.


Both teams also rode to a 2-2 deadlock in Equitation on the Flat, forcing the tiebreaker. Freshman Larissa Laffey grabbed the first MVP award of her young career by defeating Tara Polkabla, 70-64. Mellon picked up the remaining point in the discipline, sweeping both of her matchups on the afternoon.


K-State was able to pull away when the Western squad took to the arena, defeating the Bulldogs by a margin of 5-2.


In the Horsemanship discipline, the Wildcats were able to narrowly edge out Fresno State, 2-1. Senior Mikaela Sundgren was able to take home her first MVP award of the season on the way to picking up her seventh win on the year. Fellow senior Courtney Watters rode past Christa Beezley, 72-71 to notch her sixth win of the season. Senior team captain Laura Browne also rode to a 72.5-72.5 draw with Fresno’s Madison Silver to round out the 2-1 victory.


K-State was able to secure the win in the Reining discipline, taking a 3-1 victory from the Bulldogs. Senior Morgan Campbell picked up the last of the Wildcats’ three MVP awards, edging out Kei Blackledge, 71.5-71. Fellow senior Tara Hallan continued her strong spring campaign, improving to 5-0 and a 9-2 overall record. Kaylee Stout finished the contest by taking a 68.5-62.5 decision to secure the Wildcat victory.


“Taking away three of the four MVPs was really rewarding and all of those riders had outstanding performances,” said Lisabeth. “Tomorrow will be a big challenge playing against the No. 2 team, so we need to come out with the same confidence and be really clean in our rides.”

K-State will wrap up its regular season schedule tomorrow when it takes on No. 2 Auburn, with competition kicking off at the Student Horse Center in Fresno, Calif., at 11 a.m. Results will be posted on as they become available. –