Equestrian team finds mixed success in opening weekend

Emily DeShazer | Collegian Senior Western rider Jordan Cox and head coach Casie Maxwell talk after Cox’s ride Sept. 8 during the Purple and White Scrimage. The Wildcats will take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys tomorrow.

In their opening weekend of the 2013-2014 season, the No. 5 K-State Equestrian team traveled to Columbia, S.C. to face No. 3 South Carolina, followed by a trip to Dover, Del. where they won two more matches against Delaware State, Miami University and Ohio State University.

Friday morning saw a big time matchup for the first equestrian competition of the season, as two top-five teams squared off in the ring. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, South Carolina stayed true to their higher ranking with a 15-5 victory.

The Hunter Seat team lost 8-2, as senior Rachel Webster scored one point in Equitation on the Flat, while freshman Alexis Graves scored a point in her K-State debut in Equitation Over Fences, a bright spot during an otherwise gloomy day.

The Western team fared only slightly better, falling 7-3. Seniors Chayna DeNicolo and Kelly Bovaird each took a point in Horsemanship, while sophomore Kara Guy scored a point in Reigning. Bovaird and Guy won by narrow margins, both winning by half of a point.

After a rough day in the Palmetto State, the Wildcats travelled north looking for a rebound, which they found in the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution: Delaware.

State lessons aside, the team defeated Delaware State, Ohio State and Miami University, taking home seven Most Outstanding Player honors along the way.

The Hornets of Delaware State fell 13-3 to the Wildcats, as both the Hunter Seat and Western Seat teams performed well. For the Hunter Seat team, Webster had an especially great match, taking home two MOP honors, in both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences. Senior Jacquelyn Bogstad and freshman Henley Adkins also scored on the Flat, while junior Madison Wayda and senior Cat Avolese scored as well Over Fences, giving the team a 6-2 victory.

The Western team won 7-1, including a 4-0 sweep in Horsemanship, where Bovaird, DeNicolo, sophomore Danielle Kemper and senior Rachel Wetherell all scored for the Wildcats, with Bovaird taking home the MOP honors. Guy, senior Jordan Cox and senior Emily Stockford all scored in Reigning, and Stockford took MOP honors.

In their matchup with Ohio State and Miami University, K-State won 9-6, including another great win by the Hunter Seat team, 6-1. In Equitation on the Flat, the Wildcats won 3-0 over Miami University. Senior Laura Lafnitzegger, Wayda and Avolese each scored a point, while Avolese was named MOP for the event. Equitation Over Fences earned a 3-1 victory, as Graves earned her first career MOP, while senior Shana Barnett and Webster also scored.

Against Ohio State in Western, K-State suffered a 5-3 loss. In Horsemanship, freshman Alyssa Lombardi took home her first MOP, while Bovaird also took a point. Guy, however, was the lone point winner for the Reigning team. Despite the loss to Ohio State, K-State earned the overall win for the match against the combined teams from the Buckeye State.

K-State returns to Manhattan to take on No. 4 Oklahoma State this weekend in a rematch of the Big 12 Championship and National Championship in Western from last season. The match will take place at Timbercreek Stables.