Equestrian Looks to Bounce Back Against No. 6 Aggies

MANHATTAN, Kan. The fifth-ranked K-State equestrian team will look to bounce back from its first loss of the season as the sixth-ranked Texas A&M Aggies visit Fox Creek Farm Friday.  


The show will mark the fourth straight contest in which the Wildcats are pitted against a top 10 opponent. K-State was off to a hot 2-0 start on the year, with wins coming over eighth-ranked TCU and the then-second-ranked Baylor Bears, before suffering its first loss against fourth-ranked Oklahoma State last Saturday.


The Aggies enter the competition with a 2-2 record on the season, following wins over Fresno State and Baylor. Both of A&M’s losses came on the road against stiff competition, losing to No. 1 Auburn and No. 3 Georgia in back-to-back days.


"We are looking forward to another challenge this weekend,” said head coach Casie Lisabeth. “Overall the Western girls rode well this past weekend, and we are looking for them to make small adjustments to prepare for this weekend. Our Hunter Seat team is going to look to some of our new freshmen this weekend, so it will be fun to see them make their debut in Varsity competition."


The show will get underway with Equitation over Fences where the Wildcats are still searching for their first win of the season. Team captains Kendall Marvin and Jen Rawle will be looked at to lead K-State to that elusive first win. They will be joined in the arena by three freshmen who are hoping to make an immediate impact for the Wildcats in their first action over fences. Meredith Finch, who has competed on the flat in the previous three shows, will see her first action of the season over fences. Katherine Deichmann will get her first start at the varsity level this weekend, after amassing a 1-0 record in Exhibition competition on the year. Rounding out the lineup for the Wildcats will be Kristen Rheinlander who will be competing for her first time at the varsity level as well.


On the flat, K-State will look to bounce back after suffering its first loss of the season in the discipline on Saturday. Juniors Natasha Vincent and Christina Costello will both look to improve to 3-1 on the year this weekend. Freshman Kali Yates is looking for the second win of her rookie campaign following her high-point ride over Baylor two weeks ago. Senior Paige Sullivan will see her first varsity action on the season after amassing a 1-0 record in Exhibition competition. Freshman Larissa Laffey rounds out the squad for K-State as she gets her first taste of varsity equestrian competition.


In the Western portion of the competition, the Wildcats will look to get back on track after a 5-5 tie against Oklahoma State that eventually handed K-State its first loss when the decision went to tie-breaker scoring.


K-State’s Horsemanship squad has remained the same all season, with a group of five senior riders. Mikaela Sundgren has yet to lose a matchup all season as she looks to improve to 4-0 this weekend. Laura Browne, who received MVP honors in both of her first two rides, will try to get back on track after picking up her first loss of the season last Saturday. Team captain Alyssa Freeman, along with Courtney Watters are both looking to improve to 3-1 on Friday, while Caley Coffey rounds out the lineup.


The Wildcats will look to remain unblemished on the season in Reining this weekend against Texas A&M. Senior Tara Hallan has yet to lose a point this season, as she tries to pick up her fourth win this weekend. Senior Morgan Campbell will try to bounce back after suffering her first loss of the season last week. Junior Kaylee Stout and freshman Sam Etsell are both looking to improve to 3-1 after strong rides last week, and junior Alicia Zimbelman will complete the lineup as she searches for her second win on the year.


K-State will also feature eight riders in Exhibition competition on Friday. On the Western side, freshman McKenzie True will compete alongside seniors Hayley Milch and Josie Kness in the Horsemanship category. In Reining, the Wildcats will feature senior Dana Johnson. Riding for the Hunt Seat team will be freshman Melanie Hinzpeter on the flat and freshman Katie Haukos over fences.


The show, which will wrap up the fall home schedule, is scheduled to get underway at 10 a.m. and is free to the public. Complete results will be posted as they become available.