K-State equestrian wins Big 12 opener over No. 5 Baylor

By The Mercury

The No. 7-ranked Kansas State women’s equestrian team opened Big 12 action with a 13-7 upset win over No. 5 Baylor on Friday at Timbercreek Stables in Manhattan. 

Three Wildcats took home Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) honors, as K-State totaled 1,518.5 points compared to 1,482.5 for Baylor.

K-State coach Casie Maxwell was proud of the way her team performed on the day.

“It is huge to open conference play with a win,” Maxwell said. “This was big for us and it was a hard fought win.”

The win was highlighted by an outstanding day by the Hunt Seat team, which defeated Baylor, 4-1, in both Equitation on the Flat and Equitation Over Fences.

The day’s competition kicked off with Equitation Over Fences, where K-State grabbed the early lead by taking four of five points.  Senior Rachel Webster gave the Wildcats its first point, besting Baylor’s Samantha Schaefer, 75-50.

Senior Kali Yates continued her strong Fall campaign, picking up her third win in this discipline. 

Junior Shana Barnett earned her second win of the season with an 80-73 decision over her Baylor counterpart. 

Sophomore Madison Wayda had the best performance of the day, scoring an 88 on her way to earning her second consecutive MOP honor. 

Senior Sarah Mershon earned a victory in her exhibition match.

In Equitation on the Flat, the Wildcats once again put together a strong display of skills, as senior Meredith Finch remained undefeated on the season with a 79-77 win over the Bears’ Samantha Schaefer.

Yates earned her fourth win of year and first in Equitation on the Flat when she edged out Lindsay Otis, 80-79.

Webster also earned her fourth win of the season with an 81-78 win over Paige Parker. 

Senior Larissa Laffey capped off the day for the Wildcats by scoring an 81 on her performance and taking MOP honors.

“We definitely really relied on our Hunt Seat team today to pull us through,” Maxwell said. “It takes every point to make it happen.”

In the Western portion of the competition, the Wildcats and Bears score a 5-all tie.

In Reining, senior Sam Etsell picked up her second win of the season, defeating Claire Edwards, 70.5-69.5.

Freshman Kara Guy earned her first victory as a Wildcat, beating Baylor’s Parris Rice, 71-69. 

K-State saw its best performance in the discipline when sophomore Savannah Smith scored a 72.5 to pick up a point for the Wildcats.

The Horsemanship discipline saw riders from both teams post high scores, as junior Kelly Bovaird gave the Wildcats the first point, after she narrowly defeated Parris Rice, 73-71.5. 

Senior Hannah Ribera notched the point for K-State when she posted a Horsemanship-high 79.5 points to earn the third Most Outstanding Performer for the Wildcats.

K-State will be in action next weekend, as the Wildcats travel to Las Cruces, N.M., to face New Mexico State and West Texas A&M Oct. 12-13.

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