Equestrian Looks for Third Straight Top 10 Win

MANHATTAN, Kan. - The fifth-ranked K-State equestrian team will look to remain undefeated on the season this weekend as the fourth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls visit Fox Creek Farms Saturday.

The show will mark the third straight contest in which the Wildcats are pitted against a top 10 foe. K-State is off to a hot 2-0 start on the year, with wins coming over eighth-ranked TCU, and the then-second-ranked Baylor Bears.

The Cowgirls enter the competition with a 2-1 record on the season, following wins over Baylor and SMU. Oklahoma State's lone loss came against New Mexico State in a close 11-9 decision.

"The girls have been riding really well in practice and it was good to have a weekend off, but we are ready to get back into the competition arena," said head coach Casie Lisabeth. "We are facing tough competition this weekend, but I know we are prepared, and I am confident in the girls we have competing for us. The Western girls need to continue on the same path they have started on and be a little better than they were the last time they entered the arena."

K-State will look for another dominating performance from its Horsemanship riders, who have only lost two individual points on the season. Senior Laura Browne is off to an impressive start on the year, going 2-0 in her first two matches and garnering MVP honors for both performances. Fellow seniors Courtney Watters and Mikaela Sundgren will also look to remain undefeated on the year, while Caley Coffey and team captain Alyssa Freeman will try to improve to 2-1 on the young season.

In Reining, the Wildcats are also looking to remain undefeated on the season. Seniors Tara Hallan and Morgan Campbell have yet to lose a point on the season, with Hallan sitting at 2-0 and Campbell amassing a 1-0-1 record on the year. Rounding out the reining lineup for K-State will be senior Kaylee Stout, junior Alecia Zimbelman and freshman Sam Etsell who will all look to improve to 2-1 on the season.

In the Hunter Seat portion of the show, K-State will look to its Equitation over Fences riders to bounce back following a tough loss to Baylor two weekends ago. Seniors Liz Godfrey and Katie Mellon will be looked upon to lead the Wildcats to victory as they try to improve their records to 2-1 on the season. Team captains Kendall Marvin and Jennifer Rawle, along with senior Bridget Doyle, are all looking to pick up their first wins of the season on Saturday.

The Wildcats will round out the show on the flat, where the squad will look to improve to 3-0 on the year. Seniors Katie Mellon and  junior Christina Costello are off to a strong start to the season, going 2-0 in their first two contests. Junior Natasha Vincent and freshman Kali Yates are both looking to improve to 2-1 on the season against the Cowgirls. Senior Paige Sullivan will see her first varsity action of the year on the flat after competing over fences against TCU.

"I'm looking to our veterans for continued improvement over the jumps," said associate head coach Gardner Powell. "Our flat riders have been terrific, and I expect more of the same from them."

The month of October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 192,370 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed among women in the United States this year. This weekend, the K-State Equestrian team will be wearing pink ribons on its uniforms in an effort to raise awareness of the impact that early detection can have. Spectators are also encouraged to wear pink to Saturday's show as they cheer on the Wildcats to victory.

The show is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. and is free to the public. Complete results will be posted as they become available.

- k-statesports.com -