Wildcats to Host SDSU on Sunday

MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State equestrian team, ranked No. 8 in the Women’s Intercollegiate Equestrian National Coaches Poll, will host South Dakota State on Sunday at Fox Creek Farms. The show is set to kick off at 10 a.m. Coming off a close loss to No. 1 Baylor two weeks ago, the Wildcats will look to get back on the winning track Sunday against the Jackrabbits.


Leading the way for the Wildcats this weekend in Hunter Seat competition will be Whitney Snyder, who has compiled an overall record of 14-5-1 with three MVP honors this season. Snyder holds an 8-2 record on the flat and will pace a group of seniors, including Dresden Sommer, Jenny Giraldin, Paige Kovari, and Leslie Yates. Kovari is making her season debut in varsity competition against the Jackrabbits.


Other than two seniors, a group of underclassmen will lead the way for the Wildcats in fences competition. Junior Bridget Doyle and sophomores Jen Rawle and Jenni Wright will ride for the Wildcats along with seniors Snyder and Leslie Yates. Snyder owns a 6-3-1 record over fences.


“The riders are looking forward to competing at home again," said Ashley Foster, Hunter Seat head coach. "I think this will be a very exciting competition as we have a lot of new riders in the ring this week. It will be great to see them compete. Additionally, the entire Hunter Seat team has been performing strong in practice, and I expect our riders to put in good, solid rides across the board.”


Seniors Alyssa Freeman and Jana Lechtenberg will lead the Wildcat Western squad in horsemanship competition as they both look toward the Varsity Equestrian National Championships. Freeman has a record of 9-2 with one MVP award, while Lechtenberg is 7-4 with two MVP honors. Riding alongside of the two seniors will be juniors Mikaela Sundgren, Laura Browne, and Courtney Watters.


Sophomore Alecia Zimbelman will hold the reins for the Wildcats with an overall record of 7-3-1 and three MVP honors in the reining category. Along with Zimbelman will be junior Morgan Campbell, who owns a 6-4-1 record and one MVP award, juniors Dani Pettera and Kaylee Stout, and senior Tara Hallan.


“It’s good to be back at home after a long road streak," said Casie Williamson, Western head coach. "We need confident rides these next few weeks to prepare us for postseason competition. We are glad to be hosting SDSU and offering so many rides will allow us to see a large portion of our team in the show pen.”


Two Wildcat riders will be showing for the first time this season in exhibition Hunter Seat competition. Sophomore Soffia Farrall da Cruz and junior Celia Gaches will try to pick up their first wins of the season. Farrall da Cruz will ride alongside seniors Christine Fosnacht and Hannah Schroller and junior Liz Godfrey in exhibition fences competition. Gaches will ride with senior Erin Paulsen and sophomore Natasha Vincent in the exhibition flat category.


Junior Josie Kness, who owns a 4-1 record on the season, will pace K-State in exhibition Western competition. She, along with sophomores Sierra Fredrick and Erica Mackiewicz and senior Hayley Milch will show in exhibition horsemanship.


Results from Sunday's show will be posted as they become available.


In addition to K-State's home show against the Jackrabbits of SDSU, five K-State riders will be making a trip to Springfield, Mo., to try for a spot in IHSA regional competition. Senior Valerie Dysart will lead Kansas State and has already qualified for Regional's in Intermediate II Horsemanship with her outstanding ride and first place finish at the IHSA Western shows this past Saturday.


Senior Alden Haugh needs a third place finish or higher at Saturday's show in order to advance to Regional's in Advanced Horsemanship, and junior Nicole Keenan needs a first place finish to move on to Sunday's regional competition in Advanced Horsemanship. Also trying to advance to regional competition are freshman Jennifer Keefe and sophomore Nicole Allen.


“We will be sending a few riders to Springfield, Mo., for a Western IHSA competition while we are competing at home," said Williamson. "It’s hard knowing I can’t be there to see everyone ride, but I know they are more than prepared to take on this weekend’s competition. I am confident we will add more riders to the Regional competition on Sunday, and I am planning to make a trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., with a few of them for Western Semi-finals.”



K-State’s full lineup against South Dakota State is as follows.


Equitation over Fences:

Bridget Doyle

Jen Rawle

Jenni Wright

Leslie Yates

Whitney Snyder


Exhibition Fences:

Christine Fosnacht

Hannah Schroller

Liz Godfrey

Soffia Farrall da Cruz


Equitation on the Flat:

Dresden Sommer

Jenny Giraldin

Leslie Yates

Paige Kovari

Whitney Snyder


Exhibition Flat:

Celia Gaches

Erin Paulsen

Natasha Vincent



Laura Browne

Jana Lechtenberg

Alyssa Freeman

Courtney Watters

Mikaela Sundgren


Exhibition Horsemanship:

Josie Kness

Sierra Fredrick

Hayley Milch

Erica Mackiewicz



Morgan Campbell

Alecia Zimbelman

Tara Hallan

Dani Pettera

Kaylee Stout