K-State equestrian team adds nine riders for season

By The Mercury

The Kansas State equestrian head coach Casie Maxwell announced the addition of nine riders for the 2014-15 season on Thursday.

Ashley Anderson, Kirsten Chamberland, Brynn Critcher, Barbara Crosby, Chandler Hopper, Jessica Johns, Taylor Schmidt, Heidi Schmitz and Sabrina Tirador will join the Wildcat program this fall. The Wildcats have now added 20 new riders to their roster, as K-State signed 11 student-athletes during the fall signing period.

Hailing from Firth, Neb., Anderson will add depth to the Horsemanship team. The incoming freshman brings plenty of experience to the squad. In 2013, Anderson took home several accolades including the Hi-Point Horsemanship Year-end awards at the Nebraska Amateur Show. She finished 13th in the Novice Youth Western Riding at the All-American Quarter Horse Congress and was a finalist in the NYATT Horsemanship, and has been a qualifier for the AQHYA Youth World Show since 2011 in showmanship, horsemanship, trail and western riding.

Chamberland joins the Wildcats from New Westminster, BC. She will join the Horsemanship squad. In 2010, Chamberland took fourth at the APHA World Show in Horsemanship. In 2011, she earned the BCPHC Year End Reserve Hi-Point 14-18. A strong 2012 season saw Chamberland win the APHA Youth Championship and the APHA Versatility.

Critcher comes to the Little Apple via Scottsdale, Ariz., and will help out the Reining team. She earned Reserve Champion All-Around at the Blue Ribbon Horse Shows in 2005, while also becoming the All-Around Champion at the Blue Ribbon Horse Shows in 2006 and 2008. During 2008, she earned third overall at the 13 and under APHA World Show.

Crosby joins K-State from Everett, Wash., and reinforces the Horsemanship team. The 2011 season saw Crosby earn several honors which include WSQHYA Rookie of the Year, AQHA Region 1 Youth All Around and the AQHA Region 1 NY All Around. In 2013, Crosby was in the WSQHYA Youth High Point Top Five, NY High Point Top Five, Rookie High Point Top Three and was an AQHYA World Show Competitor.

Hailing from Laguna Hills, Calif., Hopper adds depth to the Hunt Seat team. From 2011-14 she competed under Nathalie Manning. During 2011, she finished first at the Dana Smith Equitation/Jumper Medal Final. She took first in the CWD Flat Equitation Challenge Final in 2012 while also taking first at the Victor Hugo Vidal Medal Final in 2013.

Johns joins the Reining team from Liberal. In the Kansas Quarter Horse Association, she was named the Youth Reining Champion in 2013 and was also selected to be on the Kansas team to compete at the AQHYA World Show in Boxing. At the 2012 and 2013 Youth World Shows, she showed in Ranch Horse Pleasure. The incoming rider also has numerous Kansas State Fair accolades and honors.

Schmidt joins K-State after transferring from SMU. The Batavia, Ill., product will help boost the Hunter Seat team. In 2012 she won the Region 4 Maclay Regionals in Kentucky. She finished in the Top-12 at the Maclay Finals in 2012. Schmidt qualified for the USEF PESSOA, Maclay and USET Finals five years in a row. She ranked Top 10 Nationally in the Junior Jumpers and has earned several ribbons from Harrisburg and Washington National Shows.

Schmitz joins the Reining team from Novato, Calif.. In 2012, she was the WCRHA Affiliate Youth #4 Rookie Champion and NRHA Green Reiner Level 2 Champion. In that same year, she was named the WCRHA Affiliate #6 Youth Rookie Champion and placed third in the Reining by the Bay Youth 14-18 division. She was the Gold N’ Grand Youth Rookie Champion and Gold N’ Grand Green Reiner Youth Champion in 2012, as well as the WCRHA Year-End Show Green Reiner Reserve Champion and Year-End Overall Rookie Youth Champion.

Tirador, a senior from Pasadena, Calif., will provide depth for the Hunter Seat team. In 2010 she was the Overall Interscholastic Equestrian League Reserve Champion. She placed second in the HITS Platinum Performance Hunter Prix and competed in the CPHA Finals in 2012. In that same year, she was the OCHSA Horsemanship Final winner and OCHSA Victor Hugo Medal Final winner. In 2014, she won the Oaks Bleinheim Low Junior Hunter Classic. Tirador was also a member of the National Honor Society.

K-State finished the season 11-6 after defeating Texas A&M in the first round before falling to Auburn in the second round of the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) National Championship.

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