The No. 7 Kansas State equestrian team picked up its first win on the season, defeating UT-Martin, 13-7 (1432-1496) on Saturday at Timbercreek Stables.
K-State received a number of strong rides, resulting in the Wildcats garnering three of the four Most Outstanding Player (MOP) awards for the match.
Wildcats’ head coach Casie Maxwell was pleased with her team’s performance, while acknowledging that some improvement was needed.
“We definitely have some improvements to make as to be expected in the first competition of the season,” Maxwell said. “Our confidence is much higher than it was for the majority of last season, so that is a vast improvement.”
In the Western portion of the meet, K-State topped UT-Martin, 7-3, with an overall score of 634-672.
In Reining, the Wildcats were led by senior Sam Etsell, juniors Jordan Cox and Savannah Smith, who earned their first wins of the season.
Etsell was named MOP after her excellent performance earned her a 71-64.5 win over UT-Martin’s Megan Marie Foley. This was Etsell’s second career MOP honor.
In Horsemanship, K-State took four of the five points. Senior Whitney Unkefer and juniors Amelia Crites, Chayna DeNicolo and Kelly Bovaird notched wins for the Wildcats. Bovaird tallied a 73-68 win over Laurel Ellzey to earn MOP honors. Crites also posted a score of 73 in defeating Candice Fulcher (73-70.5).
In the Hunt Seat events, K-State came out on top 6-4, with an overall score of 798-824.
The Wildcats got out to a fast start, winning four points in Equitation over Fences. Senior captain Rachel Webster picked up her third win of the year, while senior Kali Yates earned her second win. Junior Shana Barnett and sophomore Madison Wayda also notched wins to secure the discipline victory for K-State. Wayda carded MOP honors for the event, after an impressive 86-75 win over Reid Rickett.
Seniors Meredith Finch and Larissa Laffey picked up their second wins of the season after they defeated their UT-Martin counterparts on Equitation on the Flat. Finch registered an 88-86 win over Kara Bergenty, while Laffey bested Kaylan Herbst, 88-80.
K-State returns to action this Friday as the Wildcats host Big 12 foe and No. 6-ranked Baylor. The meet will be the last in a three-meet homestand. Admission is free and open to the public.