Equestrian comes up short in spring opener

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

K-State equestrian was back in action last Saturday as it kicked off their spring season in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The No. 9 Wildcats took on the No. 5 Oklahoma State Cowgirls at Totusek Arena, falling short 11-6.

The Cowgirls lead the Big 12 conference with a 4-0 record and they are 5-2 overall.

Saturday’s loss moved K-State to 1-3 in the Big 12 with an overall record of 3-4.

K-State struggled to match Oklahoma State in the Hunt Seat discipline, falling to the Cowgirls 6-3.

The Cowgirls dominated over K-State in Equitation over Fences, holding the Wildcats to just one point in their 3-1 win. Junior Taylor Schmidt earned the only point for the Wildcats after she managed to squeeze past OSU’s Maggie Drysch 81-80.

The Wildcats kept it closer in Equitation on the Flat, but they still couldn’t best the Cowgirls as they fell 3-2. Scoring for the wildcats were juniors Gretchen Koenen and Christina Martinelli. Koenen bested OSU’s Amy White 83-82 for her fifth win of the season. Martinelli rode past OSU’s Drysch 82-77.

In the Western discipline, the Wildcats came up short again, falling 5-3 to the Cowgirls.

K-State kept it close in Horsemanship but was unable to best Oklahoma State, losing 2-3. Junior Sydney Anson notched a point for the Wildcats after defeating OSU’s Miranda Reed 74-67.5. Sophomore Ashley Anderson also performed well for K-State with a solid 72.5-71.5 win over OSU’s Libby Collins.

Reining rounded out at 2-1 with K-State coming up short to Oklahoma State. Senior Danielle Kemper earned her first Most Outstanding Performer honor in Reining after she topped OSU’s Justine Peters 72-71.

“I really liked my ride today,” Kemper said to K-State Sports. “My horse was great and all the pieces just fell together. I am starting to gain confidence in this new event with each ride.”

Kemper’s performance in Reining was the 25th of her career. K-State head coach Casie Maxwell said she was pleased with Kemper’s efforts in Reining.

“I am extremely happy for Dani Kemper on her Reining win and MOP honors today,” Maxwell said to K-State Sports. “She has worked hard to transition into Reining for us this season, and it is great to see her hard work pay off.”

Kemper said the team had a strong performance overall.

“We had some really great rides, and we are excited to continue working hard for the upcoming meets,” Kemper said to K-State Sports.

Next up, the team will hit the road and head to Athens, Georgia, where the Wildcats will face No. 2 Georgia on Feb. 26 and No. 7 Fresno State on Feb. 27.