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Cats’ comeback falls short vs OSU

By Brady Bauman

Riding in its home arena in front of the biggest crowd of the season, the fourth-seeded Kansas State equestrian team took top-seeded Oklahoma State to the wire before falling to the Cowgirls 9-7 on Friday in the first round of the 2012 Big 12 Equestrian Championship at TimberCreek Stables.

“Our team was really good today, but at the end of the day and mainly in Reining, there were just too many small mistakes,” K-State coach Casie Lisabeth said. “I thought that the first three events were some really great, close rides and that is how you want a championship to be. It is a bummer to lose on your home court and you hope that does not happen but it did. We have to come out tomorrow and play for third, not fourth.”

In Hunt Seat action, Oklahoma State downed K-State 5-3, with the Cowgirls taking the point in Equitation on the Flat 3-1. The two squads tied in Equitation Over Fences, 2-2.

Junior Meredith Finch was the lone point-scorer for K-State in Equitation on the Flat, as she out-rode Oklahoma State rider Jordan White 160-147. The Somerville, Ohio, native has now amassed eight wins on the season, with five of those victories coming against Big 12 opponents.

Junior Kali Yates and freshman Madison Wayda each notched an individual point for the Wildcats in Fences action. Yates, who missed much of the 2012 spring season due to injury, rode past Oklahoma State’s Samantha Harrison 160-149 to pick up her fourth win of the 2011-12 season.

Wayda knocked off Sarah Gesick of Oklahoma State 152-151 to card her ninth win of the year, which is tops for a K-State newcomer. Although she fell to her Cowgirl counterpart in Equitation on the Flat, Wayda was the only Wildcat English rider to compete in both Hunt Seat disciplines on the day.

Overall on the Western side, K-State and Oklahoma State tied, 4-4, with the Wildcats and Cowgirls matching scores in Horsemanship and Reining.

All-Big 12 riders Kelly Bovaird and Sam Etsell continued their successful seasons by knocking off their Oklahoma State counterparts. Bovaird defeated OSU’s Marissa Dalton 150-133 in Horsemanship, while Etsell clipped Cowgirl Jenna Blumer 133.5-121 in Reining.

Rachel Wetherell picked up her sixth victory of the season, as she topped Oklahoma State’s Lindsey McMullen in Horsemanship action.

Freshman Jesse Johnson closed out the scoring for the Wildcats in Reining, as she rode past Big 12 Reining Co-Rider of the Year, Katy Krshka of Oklahoma State 136-134.5 to tally her seventh win on the year.

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