KSU equestrian tops No. 4 Gamecocks

By The Mercury

After three consecutive losses, the eighth-ranked Kansas State equestrian team got back into the win column in a big way Friday afternoon, taking down No. 4 South Carolina, 14-6, at Timbercreek Stables in Manhattan.

Rachel Webster and Kelly Bovaird earned Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) honors for the Wildcats.

The K-State Western team showed its dominance, besting the Gamecocks, 8-2.

The Reining team got things started by capturing four of the five available points. Jordan Cox and captain Sam Etsell had the two highest scores for the Wildcats (8-5, 2-3 Big 12), with each carding a 75 on their run and giving the Wildcats an early lead.

After getting a re-ride, Jesse Johnson scored a 72 and edged out USC rider Amanda Pope by half a point. Kara Guy finished the scoring for the Wildcats, as she defeated Sarah Bouchard, 74.5-72.5.

The Horsemanship side was just as impressive, also taking the discipline 4-1. Bovaird picked up an MOP honor and her first win in March, as she rode to a 75.5, defeating her USC counterpart. Hannah Ribera easily dispatched of her opponent, outscoring her 74-66.5. Amelia Crites gave the Wildcats a critical point, besting Kelsey Urban of USC, 74.5-72.5. Rachel Wetherell earned the highest score, riding to a 76 and a Wildcat point. Danielle Kemper and Whitney Unkefer both earned exhibition wins.

The Hunter seat team faced a tough side in South Carolina, but came out on top, 6-4.

Cat Avolese started things off for the Cats, earning the first point in Equitation Over Fences after she defeated her foe, 80-68. Webster picked up a point for K-State, after she earned an event-high 85 after an impressive ride. The win is her fifth in March and it is her third MOP honor of March. Shana Barnett scored the final point, narrowly beating Samantha Smith, 78-76.

In Equitation on the Flat, the Wildcats and Gamecocks fought a tough meet, but the Wildcats came out on top, 3-2.

K-State captain Meredith Finch added another win to her resume, improving to 11-1-1 on the season. Madison Wayda picked up her first win of the day, after getting past Logan Holler, 81-73.

Kali Yates ended things on a positive note, securing the final point with an 80-77 win over Samantha Kraus. Jacquelyn Bogstad defeated Adele Norton in an exhibition match.

The Wildcats will finish the regular season at home next Saturday when they host No. 3 Oklahoma State.

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