K-State equestrian rides strong in season opener


K-State’s equestrian team started the season off strong against South Dakota State last weekend.

On Saturday, the Wildcats defeated South Dakota State 11-8, giving K-State a 1-0 record in the 2015 season.

“Getting a win today was a great confidence boost for our team,” head coach Cassie Maxwell said to K-State Sports, “We struggled on the road last year, and we competed a lot of people today who have not played before, so it was really nice to see them come out and make a statement.”

K-State outperformed South Dakota State in both Hunt Seat and Western, winning the Hunt Seat 6-4 and Western 5-4.

K-State came out strong in equitation over fences, outscoring SDSU 4-1. Sophomore Halle Kutsche contributed to the win, logging her fifth career win as a Wildcat, defeating SDSU’s Alissa Greenwald 80-75.

Sophomore Molly Dunn earned her first career Most Outstanding Performer honor, after defeating SDSU’s Jessica Andronowitz 83-73.

South Dakota State rebounded in equitation on the flat, defeating K-State 3-2. SDSU also rallied for a 3-2 win against K-State in reining. Senior Nicholle Hatton contributed a point for the Wildcats, riding past SDSU’s Morgan Hall, 71.5-67.5. The win marked Hatton’s ninth career win as a Wildcat.

Freshman Taylor Todd made her first appearance for K-State and gained her first career win with a 71-70.5 victory over SDSU’s Makayla Reed.

The Wildcats bounced back in horsemanship with a 3-1 victory. Junior Alyssa Lombardi, junior Sydney Anson and senior Emily Castellini contributed scoring rides for K-State. Castellini received her first career Most Outstanding Performer honor with a 73.5-70.5 win over SDSU’s Lexus Hoffman.

K-State will look to build on their undefeated home record from last season when the Wildcats return to Timbercreek Stables to take on No. 6 Oklahoma State in the first home meet of the season this Friday.