May 7, 2012
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State equestrian head coach Casie Lisabeth announced the signing of three student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Monday, to fill out the 2012 recruiting class for the Wildcats. Kara Guy, Nicholle Hatton and Kayla Hillegass will be the newest additions to the K-State equestrian program next fall.
With the Wildcats losing six seniors to graduation, this year’s class may be short on numbers, but Lisabeth believes that her squad will be getting three riders who bring a high level of talent to the K-State Western team.
"I am thrilled that these three young ladies have decided on Kansas State for their academic and athletic careers,” said Lisabeth. “All three girls bring a strong Reining background with them and are excited to be part of the Wildcat family. I look forward to expanding on our Reining program and these athletes will be a big part in that transition."
A product of Fountain Hills, Ariz., Guy joins the Wildcat Western squad after a very successful youth career in which she carded multiple honors in numerous events. In 2007, Guy was named the 13-and-under Youth National Champion in Half-Arab Reining and Reserve Champion in 2008. The following year, she earned National Champion honors in the 14-17 year-old level in Half-Arab Reining. In 2010, she was named the Scottsdale Arab Horse Show Champion in Reining and the first and reserve Champion in Horsemanship. Guy also garnered numerous other national Top-10 honors in Horsemanship, Showmanship and Reining during her youth career.
Hatton hails from Parker, Colo., where she was a two-year letterwinner for the Chaparral High School women’s basketball team. Off the court, she earned numerous academic honors, including four-straight AP academic scholar awards. During her time at CHS, she was a member of the National Honor Society as well as the National Spanish Honor Society. On top of a successful career on the hardwood, Hatton saw plenty of success in the show arena as she was a NRHA and NAAC qualifier in 2010. In 2009 and 2011, she was named the EPRHA Youth Champion for the 14-18 year-old age group. Also in 2011, she garnered Grand Champion honors in the Senior Working Ranch Horse category.
A native of Las Vegas, Nev., Hillegass comes to K-State after a highly-successful youth career, where she racked up a bevy of awards. In 2008 and 2009, she was named the SNRHA Ladies’ Champion as well as the Youth 13-and-under co-Champion. In 2010, she was named the NQHA Youth Reining Champion, as well as the AQHA’s Youth Reining Reserve Champion for Region 7. In the same year, she was named Justin Boots Rookie of the Year in the state of Nevada. In 2011, Hillegass garnered High Point Youth Reining Champion honors from the NQHA and UQHA. Also in 2011, she was an AQHA World Show qualifier and participant and was ranked No. 3 by the USEF in youth Reining.
K-State will kick off the 2012-13 season next September as it looks to build on a solid 2011-12 season that saw the Wildcats earn a third-place finish at the 2012 Big 12 Championship, as well as a sixth place finish by the Hunt Seat squad at the 2012 National Collegiate Equestrian Association National Championships in Waco, Texas.