K-State Equestrian Signs Nine New Riders

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Kansas State equestrian head coach Casie Lisabeth announced the signing of nine of the nation's top prep riders to National Letters of Intent for the 2010-11 season on Friday.

The Wildcats will welcome five Western and four Hunter Seat riders in a signing class that features student-athletes from six different states.

"We are really excited about the talented riders who have committed to K-State for the upcoming season," Lisabeth said. "These nine riders are really strong academically as well as in the competition arena, so I expect all of them to have a big impact on the program. Our program has definitely taken off in the past few years and it will be up to these riders to keep the momentum headed in the right direction."

Kelly Bovaird, Tulsa, Okla. (Western)
Bovaird, a senior at Bishop Kelley High School, has been a consistent presence on her school's honor roll throughout high school. Under the tutelage of trainers Lee and Leonard Berryhill, Bovaird has achieved multiple top 10 finishes at the All American Quarter Horse Congress, along with multiple World and Reserve World Champions in the Palomino Horse Association and National Snaffle Bit Association competitions. She plans to major in animal science with the hope of someday going to veterinary school.

Jordan Cox, Trenton, N.C. (Western)
Cox is currently a senior at Jones Senior High School in Trenton, N.C., where she is involved in National Honors Society, FFA and 4-H. She is ranked second in her high school class with a 4.3 GPA. Cox, who started showing horses at the age of eight, was named the 2007 SERHA Youth 14-18 Year End Champion, along with being named Champion of the VRHA Youth Derby in the same year. In 2005, she was named the SERHA Youth 13 and Under Year End Champion as well as taking seventh in NRHA Youth 13 and under. Cox plans to major in veterinary medicine and hopes to someday open a large animal veterinarian practice.

Amelia Crites, Owasso, Okla. (Western)
Crites, a senior at Owasso High School, has been extremely involved in multiple clubs and organizations throughout high school, including National Honors Society, Psychology Club, FFA and 4-H. She is the winner of numerous all around and year end awards and top 10 finishes throughout her career. In 2009, Crites was named to the Rodgers County 4-H Hall of Fame. She also qualified in six events on two different horses at the 2009 AQHYA World Show and received her AQHA Youth Halter ROM and AQHA Youth Performance ROM in 2009 as well. In 2007 and 2008, Crites qualified in three events at the AQHYA Youth World Show. Crites, who plans to major in business, hopes to someday hold an upper management position in the business field.

Kayla Hatfield, Whitesboro, Texas (Western)
Hatfield is currently a senior at Callisburg High School where, along with riding, she has participated in softball and basketball throughout her high school career. She has shown reining horses for the last five years and under the training of Pete Kyle has won numerous AQHA, NRHA and APHA classes. Hatfield has also been an AQHA all around winner and in 2008 was an AQHYA World Show Finalist. She will major in business at K-State.

Sara Schifferdecker, Girard, Kan. (Western)
Schifferdecker, the lone native Kansan among the new riders, is currently a senior at Girard High School, where she is an honor roll student. Throughout high school Schifferdecker has been involved in FFA, Band, Kayetes, SADD, Science Club and Student Council. Under the tutelage of Terry Cross, Schifferdecker has won multiple all around awards and circuit championships, including four all around wins in 2009. In 2008 she was named Top Five at the Quarter Horse Congress in Hunter Under Saddle as well as Top Ten in Western Pleasure. In 2009 she won Top 20 honors at the AQHYA World Show, Top 10 in Showmanship and Hunter under Saddle, and the Reserve Champion Equitation Congress 2009. She plans on majoring in horticulture at K-State and hopes to someday become a horticulture therapist.

Shana Barnett, Hawthorn Woods, Ill. (Hunter Seat)
Barnett, currently a senior at Carmel Catholic High School, has been involved in National Honors Society, Ambassadors Club and Boosters Club throughout high school. After being involved with horses for over eleven years, she has become very competitive in the Illinois Horse Show Association earning top awards over the last four years. Barnett took the third place award in the IHSA Junior Jumpers in 2009 after taking home first place in the same event in 2007. Barnett plans to become a pre-vet major and hopes to attend veterinary school post-grad.

Jacquelyn Bogstad, Woodland Hills, Calif. (Hunter Seat)
Bogstad is a senior and honor roll student at Calabasas High School. Bogstad currently competes in the 3'6" Equitation and Jumper arenas as a competitor of the Pacific Coast Horseshow Association, the Los Angeles Hunter Jumper Association, and the San Fernando Valley Horseshow Association.  Since 2003 Bogstad has earned over 80 ribbons or awards at competitive horse shows including 20 first place finishes. Some of her most recent accomplishments have included earning the Never Enough Perpetual Trophy in the PCHA Horsemanship Medal Class and the Taffy Apple Perpetual Trophy for Equitation riders.  Since 2009, Bogstad has been trained by Olympic athlete and Pan-American Games gold medalist Mark Watring. She plans on majoring in public relations.

Belle Calkin, North Hollywood, Calif. (Hunter Seat)
Calkin is currently a senior at Campbell Hall High School where she has taken honors French and Spanish classes and is a member of the orchestra. Calkin also serves as captain of her school's Interscholastic Equestrian League (IEL) team where she was the High Point Rider 2008-09 season.  With eleven years of experience in the saddle, Calkin has been showing competitively since she started riding.  Most recently she was the Reserve Champion in the San Fernando Challenge Medal Final held in 2008 in Flintridge, California.  In 2008 Calkin also placed 5th in the LAHSA Medal Finals and was Reserve Champion for the Marshall and Sterling Junior Medal Final.  Calkin plans on majoring in psychology with hopes of working as a sports psychologist.

Sarah Mershon, Flower Mound, Texas (Hunter Seat)
Mershon is a senior at Edward S. Marcus High School where she has been involved in Color Guard, Science Club and Art Club, and was given the Magnificent Marauder Award for biology. Mershon has been riding hunter/jumper for the last eight years. Under the training of Sterling Kincannon, she has collected a number of ribbons in Texas Hunter/Jumper association and other surrounding circuits over the past several years. In the 2009 show season alone, Mershon picked up wins in several Children's Equitation Over Fences and Equitation on the Flat classes.  Mershon also earned 2nd place in the 2009 WIHS/NAL Children's Hunter Classic at the Texas Sport Horse Cup as well.  She also brings with her a wealth of experience catch riding sale horses for Texas trainer Mike McCormick which will aid in her performance in the varsity arena in her upcoming collegiate career.

- k-statesports.com -