After a grudge match upset over the No. 4 Oklahoma State Cowboys last Saturday, the No. 5 K-State Equestrian team is gearing up for another big showdown with No. 6 Texas A&M; tomorrow in Manhattan.
While K-State has a 2-1 record, this match will be the first of the season for the Aggies, who finished last season with a 7-10 record overall. That record may be deceiving, however, as nine of their 11 regular season meets were against top 10 teams.
K-State won by a narrow 11-9 margin last week thanks to an outstanding performance by the Hunter Seat team, who defeated the Cowboys 7-3. The Equitation Over Fences squad was especially impressive, winning 4-1.
The Wildcats bring that momentum into another important meet as they face a Texas A&M; team that is in search of its 12th national title this season.
The Aggies have plenty of good riders returning, including 2013 NCEA All-America Honorable Mention Molli Jacobs and four sophomores who were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team for 2013, more than any other team. Jacobs, a junior who competes in Horsemanship, had three Most Outstanding Player awards last season and finished with an 8-5 record.
The Wildcats had a great meet last week, knocking off a top five team while three riders were awarded MOPs: senior Rachel Webster in Equitation Over Fences, junior Madison Wayda in Equitation on the Flat and senior Emily Stockford in Reigning.
The Wildcats have won their last two meets after falling in their season opener to No. 3 South Carolina. In those two matches, the Wildcats had 10 riders named Most Outstanding Player, led by Webster, who has racked up three already, and Stockford has won back-to-back MOPs in Reigning.
The two teams last faced off in the 2011-2012 season, with Texas A&M; taking wins in both of the matches. The Wildcats have not found much recent success against the Aggies, but they have a good chance to notch a win this weekend to continue their good start to the 2013-2014 season.