Wildcats Host Season Opener against Gamecocks

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The No. 6 Kansas State equestrian team begins its search for its first national title on Friday, as the Wildcats host No. 2 South Carolina in the home opener. The Wildcats face off against the Gamecocks at Timbercreek Stables at 1 p.m. Admission to the meet is free and open to the public.

"Our girls have prepared hard for our first meet and are looking forward to opening the season against South Carolina this Friday," said head coach Casie Maxwell. "They are a very experienced team coming off a great 2013-14 season. Our team has been practicing really well and we look forward to testing out our talent this weekend."

Last season, K-State fell short against the Gamecocks, 15-5 in Columbia, S.C. This year though the Wildcats will be back on their home territory and are anxious to compete.

 The Wildcats have thrived at home meets over the last two seasons. The Wildcats have gone 10-1 at home and hope to continue to carry on that tradition this season with seven new riders that will see their first action in purple and white.

The Hunter Seat team will be led by senior captain Madison Wayda and sophomore Henley Adkins. This dynamic duo combined for 33 wins last season. The dual threat for the Wildcats will compete in both Equitation over Fences and Equitation on the Flat.

In Equitation over Fences and Equitation on the Flat, sophomores Alexis Graves, Christina Martinelli and Taylor Schmidt will have the chance to make an impact early in the season. Freshman Molly Dunn will be making an exhibition appearance in Equitation over Fences and sophomore Gretchen Koenen will also have an exhibition ride in Equitation on the Flat. 

 Senior captain Savannah Smith and junior captain Danielle Kemper lead a diverse Western team into the first competition this season.

In Horsemanship, aside from Kemper, the Wildcats will have lone senior Kelsey Sousa available as well as junior exhibition rider Emily Castellini and sophomores Alyssa Lombardi and Kelsey Karanges

In Reining, K-State will look to Smith to lead the squad. Freshman Brynn Critcher and Heidi Schmitz will make their first season appearance and will compete alongside juniors Kara Guy and Nicholle Hatton.

Live updates for the match against South Carolina can be found on K-State's Gameday Twitter account, @kstate_gameday.

Following the opening weekend against South Carolina, K-State will continue its five-meet home stand on Thursday, Sept. 25 against New Mexico State at Timbercreek Stables.

Fences:
Adkins
Graves
Martinelli
Schmidt
Wayda
EXH-Dunn

Flat:
Adkins
Graves
Martinelli
Schmidt
Wayda
EXH-Koenen

Horsemanship:
Anson

Lombardi
Karanges
Kemper
Sousa
EXH - E. Castellini

Reining:
Critcher

Guy
Hatton
Schmitz
Smith