K-State opens at home against Oklahoma State

Rory Reichert, junior hunter, during the K-State Equestrian Purple vs White Scrimmage on Sept. 20, 2015 at Timbercreek Stables. (File Photo by Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

After finding success on the road against South Dakota State, K-State equestrian will hold their home opener against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls Friday. K-State is 1-0 so far this season after defeating South Dakota State 11-8 last Saturday.

The Wildcats will look to build on the success they had last season at home, where they were undefeated.

“That’s a huge confidence builder,” head coach Casie Maxwell said. “We definitely want to continue that momentum. We have a lot of confidence here.”

K-State is even with Oklahoma State in the Big 12 standings; both hold a 1-0 record. Last Saturday, OSU competed at home against Southern Methodist University. The Cowgirls came out on top, defeating SMU 13-6. Oklahoma State now sits sixth in the NCEA National Team Rankings.

K-State took on Oklahoma State three times last season. Their first meeting took place in Manhattan last November. K-State got the win at home, edging the Cowgirls 12-7.

The teams faced off for a second time this past February. The Wildcats were on a six-game losing streak heading into the competition in Stillwater. The Cowgirls extended the losing streak to seven, defeating the Wildcats 13-7.

The Big 12 Championship semifinals in Fort Worth, Texas marked the last time the two teams competed. The Wildcats emerged victorious with a score of 10-8-2.

“We’ve got a really young squad and only one freshman who’s joined our team,” Maxwell said. “We’re trying to gain as much experience as we can.”

Maxwell said she believes a lot of people don’t realize how hard the sport of equestrian is because the horse appears to be doing all the work, and people often wonder why equestrian athletes work out in the weight room.

“It takes a lot of strength to make this happen and to make this look good,” Maxwell said. “It takes a lot to be in sync with your horse. It takes a lot of feel and communication with them.”

Maxwell said equestrian is not a sport you can just start doing when you get to college.

“These girls have been practicing for a lifetime to come and do this,” Maxwell said.

This Friday, K-State will put their hard work to use as they compete for the first time this season in front of their home crowd starting at 10 a.m.