Wildcats Add Nine Riders to 2014-15 Roster

May 8, 2014

K-State Athletics

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State equestrian head coach Casie Maxwell has announced the addition of nine riders for the 2014-15 season. Ashley Anderson, Kirsten Chamberland, Brynn Critcher, Barbara Crosby, Chandler Hopper, Jessica Johns, Taylor Schmidt, Heidi Schmitz and Sabrina Tirador will join the Wildcat program this fall. The Wildcats have now added 20 new riders to their roster, as K-State signed 11 student-athletes during the fall signing period.

“This has been a huge recruiting year for K-State Equestrian and we are excited about the new athletes that have committed to our program,” said Maxwell of her new additions. “The nine added in this spring bring exceptional talent to the program, as well as strong academics and great enthusiasm for K-State and the sport. We will have a young squad with some rebuilding, but we are extremely excited about the future here with K-State Equestrian.”

Hailing from Firth, Nebraska, Anderson will add depth to the Horsemanship team. The incoming freshman brings plenty of experience to the squad. In 2013, Anderson took home several accolades including the Hi-Point Horsemanship Year-end awards at the Nebraska Amateur Show. She finished 13th in the Novice Youth Western Riding at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and was a finalist in the NYATT Horsemanship, and has been a qualifier for the AQHYA Youth World Show since 2011 in showmanship, horsemanship, trail and western riding. Anderson earned Reserve Champion Nebraska State 4-H Advanced Western Horsemanship and Western Riding in 2013 and Trail during 2011.

Anderson also served as the Region 2 National Director for AQHYA from 2013-14 and was the Chair of the Public Policy Committee. She was also elected as the President of the Nebraska Quarter Horse Youth Association from 2012-15. Outside of equestrian, Anderson was a two-year varsity starter in soccer, while also earning junior varsity Most Valuable Player and was selected Academic All-Conference. Anderson earned several academic honors including Honor Roll, Academic Letter, Academic All-State Speech, National Honor Society, and Champion FFA Equine Placement Proficiency. She plans to open her own veterinary clinic or become an orthopedic surgeon.

Chamberland joins the Wildcats from New Westminster, British Columbia. The incoming freshman will join the Horsemanship squad. In 2010, Chamberland took fourth at the APHA World Show in Horsemanship. In 2011, she earned the BCPHC Year End Reserve Hi-Point 14-18. A strong 2012 season saw Chamberland win the APHA Youth Championship and the APHA Versatility. A successful 2013 saw Chamberland finish Top-10 in seven events at the PtHA World Show, while also finishing Top-10 in nine events at the AjPHA World Show. During the AjPHA World Show, she was also awarded the Superior Sportsmanship award while also earning Highpoint 14-18 and Champion Super Horse.

Outside of riding, Chamberland ran cross country for three years and was also involved with the Student Government and Grad Council while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average and was named to the Principal’s Honor Roll. She hopes to work at an animal veterinary.

Critcher comes to the Little Apple via Scottsdale, Arizona, and will help out the Reining team. She earned Reserve Champion All-Around at the Blue Ribbon Horse Shows in 2005, while also becoming the All-Around Champion at the Blue Ribbon Horse Shows in 2006 and 2008. During 2008, she earned third overall at the 13 and under APHA World Show. She moved on to Reining, where she excelled in Rookie, Green as Grass events and 13 and under in the NRHA.

Critcher also was recognized as an NRHA 50 point earner, Green as Grass Champion at the Tall Pines Reining NRHA Show and the NRHA 13 and under year end champion.

Critcher earned several academic honors including four years of honors English, honors geometry, honors algebra, honors Spanish and AP world history. She also helped with her school’s literary magazine and hopes to become a veterinarian.

Crosby joins K-State from Everett, Washington, and reinforces the Horsemanship team. The 2011 season saw Crosby earn several honors which include WSQHYA Rookie of the Year, AQHA Region 1 Youth All Around and the AQHA Region 1 NY All Around. In 2013, Crosby was in the WSQHYA Youth High Point Top Five, NY High Point Top Five, Rookie High Point Top Three and was an AQHYA World Show Competitor.

Crosby was also a two-time letter winner in soccer, a member of her school’s drama club and participated in several fundraisers. She plans on becoming an elementary school teacher.

Hailing from Laguna Hills, California, Hopper adds depth to the Hunt Seat team. From 2011-14 she competed under Nathalie Manning. During 2011, she finished first at the Dana Smith Equitation/Jumper Medal Final. She took first place in the CWD Flat Equitation Challenge Final in 2012 while also taking first place at the Victor Hugo Vidal Medal Final in 2013. Also in 2013 Hopper took first place at the OCHSA Horsemanship Medal Final and first place at the Alta Vista Hunter Derby.

During her riding career, Hopper took home numerous honors including: fifth place at the Bill Goble Equitation/Jumper Medal Final, Interscholastic Equestrian League: Freshman Overall Division Champion, Freshman Hunt Seat Equitation Flat Overall Division Champion, Freshman Hunter Fences Overall Division Champion, and Freshman Equitation Fences Overall Division Champion. She also finished in first at the Freshman IEL Medal Final, JV Overall Division Reserve Champion, JV Hunt Seat Equitation Flat Overall Division Reserve Champion, JV Equitation Fences Overall Division Reserve Champion and earned a varsity letter for equestrian during her freshman year.

Hopper’s academic career includes honors in advanced 3D sculpture, California Scholarship Federation from 2010-14 and National Honor Society from 2012-14.

Johns joins the Reining team from Liberal, Kansas. In the Kansas Quarter Horse Association, she was named the Youth Reining Champion in 2013 and was also selected to be on the Kansas team to compete at the AQHYA World Show in Boxing. At the 2012 and 2013 Youth World Shows, she showed in Ranch Horse Pleasure. The incoming rider also has numerous Kansas State Fair accolades and honors.

During her high school career, she competed in several sports and activities including golf, forensics, 4-H and volleyball, where she helped her team to sub-state. She also earned several academic honors including Superintendent’s honor roll, class president, salutatorian, Kansas State Scholar and 2013 forensics state champion. She plans to attend law school.

Schmidt joins K-State after transferring from SMU. The Batavia, Illinois, product will help boost the Hunter Seat team. In 2012 she won the Region 4 Maclay Regionals in Kentucky. She finished in the Top-12 at the Maclay Finals in 2012. Schmidt qualified for the USEF PESSOA, Maclay and USET Finals five years in a row. She ranked Top 10 Nationally in the Junior Jumpers and has earned several ribbons from Harrisburg and Washington National Shows. Schmidt was a four year Honor Roll member during high school.

Schmitz joins the Reining team from Novato, California. In 2012, she was the WCRHA Affiliate Youth #4 Rookie Champion and NRHA Green Reiner Level 2 Champion. In that same year, she was named the WCRHA Affiliate #6 Youth Rookie Champion and placed third in the Reining by the Bay Youth 14-18 division. She was the Gold N’ Grand Youth Rookie Champion and Gold N’ Grand Green Reiner Youth Champion in 2012, as well as the WCRHA Year-End Show Green Reiner Reserve Champion and Year-End Overall Rookie Youth Champion. Through the 2013 season she was named the WCRHA Affiliate #2 Rookie Level 2 Reserve Champion and Murrieta Equestrian Center Gold N’ Grand Rookie 2 Reining Circuit Champion. During her youth career she compiled 132 youth points.

While in high school she spent over 150 hours volunteering at Halleck Creek Ranch. Academically, she was an Honor Roll student and named to the Dean’s List. She plans to major in Animal Science.

Tirador, a senior from Pasadena, California, will provide depth for the Hunter Seat team. In 2010 she was the Overall Interscholastic Equestrian League Reserve Champion. She placed second in the HITS Platinum Performance Hunter Prix and competed in the CPHA Finals in 2012. In that same year, she was the OCHSA Horsemanship Final winner and OCHSA Victor Hugo Medal Final winner. In 2014, she won the Oaks Bleinheim Low Junior Hunter Classic. Tirador was also a member of the National Honor Society.

K-State finished the season 11-6 after defeating Texas A&M in the first round  before falling to Auburn in the second round of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship.