Equestrian to Host Battle of Top 10 Teams

MANHATTAN, Kan. The K-State equestrian team gets back to Varsity action this weekend as it hosts the Baylor Bears in a battle of Top 10 teams at Fox Creek Farm on Saturday. The Bears enter the competition as the nation’s second-ranked team in the most recent coaches’ poll and will serve as an early test for the seventh-ranked Wildcats.


K-State will try to build upon its season-opening win against TCU as it looks to improve to 2-0 on the young season. Baylor has started the year off hot as well as it sits at 2-0 on the season with home wins coming over Miami (Ohio) and TCU. 


"We told the girls they need to be a little better each week if they want to come out on top, and competing with Baylor this weekend is no exception,” said head coach Casie Lisabeth. “For the remainder of our home shows the girls are going to be tested in every matchup and it is going to take the entire team being mentally and physically prepared to be successful. From the Western riders I expect to see patterns that are penalty-free and rides that are aggressive.”


On the Western side, the Wildcats will look to get another strong performance out of their veteran-heavy group of riders in the Horsemanship discipline, following a season-opening 4-1 win. Senior Laura Browne started off her season by winning the MVP award last weekend and will be looked upon again for another strong ride. Joining her in the arena will be fellow seniors Alyssa Freeman, Mikaela Sundgren and Courtney Watters who all enter Saturday’s competition with 1-0 records on the season. Senior Caley Coffey will look to pick up her first win of the year, after dropping a close decision in her opening ride last weekend.


In the Reining discipline, K-State will look for its first outright win on the year after riding to a 2-2 draw in the season opener. Senior Kaylee Stout opened the season by picking up the third MVP award of her career and will look to improve her record to 2-0 on Saturday. Senior Tara Hallan also won her first contest on the season and looks to remain undefeated at Saturday’s contest. Senior Morgan Campbell, junior Alecia Zimbelman and freshmen Sam Etsell will all look to pick up their first wins of the season this weekend.


In Hunter Seat, the Wildcats will hope for another winning effort after picking up a close 6-5 decision over TCU in the opener. K-State will look to the flat to get things started, where it tallied a dominating 4-1 performance in the opener. Freshman Meredith Finch set a high bar for herself in her first collegiate ride, picking up a win and her first career MVP award. Senior Katie Mellon and juniors Natasha Vincent and Christina Costello will all be looking to improve their records to 2-0 on Saturday, while freshman Kali Yates will look to pick up her the first win of her career.


Over fences, senior Liz Godfrey will look to continue her early success after being named MVP in her first varsity ride. Senior Katie Mellon also looks to improve to 2-0 on the season as the Wildcats look for their first win over fences. Team captains Jen Rawle and Kendall Marvin are both looking for their first wins on the season, along with senior Bridget Doyle to round out the competition for the Wildcats.


"We have to aim high this week since Baylor is ranked No. 2 in the coaches poll,” said associate head coach Gardner Powell. “I am confident that our girls will bear down and improve on their last performances."


K-State will also feature eight riders in Exhibition competition on Saturday. On the Western side, sophomore Rebecca Wallisch will compete alongside seniors Hayley Milch and Kyla Copple in the Horsemanship category. In Reining, the Wildcats will feature senior Danielle Pettera. Riding for the Hunt Seat team will be sophomore Kate Hennessy as well as freshman Katherine Deichmann on the flat. Rounding out Exhibition competition over fences for K-State will be sophomore Jasmin Walters along with senior Paige Sullivan.


The show is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. and is free to the public. Complete results will be posted as they become available.