Equestrian to Host 2012 Big 12 Championship

Sarah Mershon

March 27, 2012

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas State equestrian team will open up the 2012 postseason in its home arena as TimberCreek Stables will play host to this year’s Big 12 Equestrian Championship, Friday and Saturday in Manhattan. Admission for both days of the event is free and open to the public. Opening ceremonies will begin on Friday at 9:30 a.m., with Saturday’s consolation and championship matches beginning at 10 a.m.

This year’s event marks the fourth time the conference has held an equestrian championship, with this season being the first year that equestrian is a recognized Big 12 sport. If you are unable make it to TimberCreek Stables, K-State Gameday will be available online at KStateHD.TV beginning at 11 a.m., on Friday. Updates will be available throughout the day on the official Twitter accounts of K-State athletics (@kstatesports and @kstate_gameday) and the Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference).

“Our team, athletic department, and campus are really excited to be hosting the 2012 Big 12 Equestrian Championship in Manhattan,” said K-State head coach Casie Lisabeth. “This is the first year that the Big 12 Championship is a fully-supported conference championship, so we are excited to kick that off in Manhattan and set a high precedent for the event. Our athletic department and the Big 12 Conference have done a great job promoting this event, so we expect to have an outstanding turnout from fans and spectators.”

“As a team, this is just another meet and it is important that we treat it that way and do not get caught up in the hype of the Championship. I expect our athletes will be busy preparing for this meet like any other weekend; by staying focused on their job and performing at their best.”

The fourth-seeded Wildcats will kick off the event as they face top-seeded Oklahoma State at 9:30 a.m., on Friday. While K-State (5-7) has never won a match at the Big 12 Championship, they will look to halt an Oklahoma State squad who is currently rolling on a six-match win streak, which dates back to January 29.

The Wildcats and Cowgirls (8-4) split a pair of matches during the regular season with K-State nabbing a 12-10 win over Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla., on Nov., 19, while the Cowgirls notched an 11-9 victory over K-State in the last match of the regular season on March 17.

In the Western arena, sophomores Kelly Bovaird and Emily Stockford will lead the charge for the Wildcats. Both riders have had successful spring seasons, with each winning four out of five matches since January.

On the English side, sophomore Sarah Mershon has won six matches in a row, the longest such streak on the team this season, and will look to add to her win total, which currently stands at 10.

Juniors Meredith Finch and Larissa Laffey will also be key riders for the Wildcat Hunt Seat squad, as Laffey has notched 10 wins this season and Finch has recorded a team-high four match-MVP awards on the year.

On the other side of the bracket, second-seed Baylor (10-4) and third-seed Texas A&M (8-3) will clash for the third time this season, with the Bears downing the Aggies in their previous two meetings. Like the K-State/Oklahoma State dual, this match will start at 9:30 a.m., on Friday but will take place in the adjacent arena (weather permitting).

Directions to TimberCreek Stables: TimberCreek Stables is located at 9000 Elk Road, on the east side of Manhattan. From Kansas State University, drive east on Bluemont Avenue, turn right onto Tuttle Creek Boulevard. Turn left onto Highway 24 and go roughly 3 miles. Turn left onto Green Valley Road. Turn right onto Elk Creek Road. TimberCreek Stables is approximately 1/2 mile on the right-hand side. Parking will be available in the grass just off the main driveway.