Aggie Riders Unseat Kansas State

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The Texas A&M equestrian team earned its second consecutive win with a 14-8 victory over Kansas State at N.W. ‘Dick’ Freeman Arena on Saturday afternoon.

A&M’s hunter seat group led the way for the team against the Wildcats (4-5) with a convincing 8-2 win. The English squad scored 4-1 margins of victory in both equitation on the flat and equitation over fences. The Aggies (8-2) also swept all four most valuable rider honors.

“Kansas State is a traditionally strong team and I knew we’d have our work cut out for us,” A&M hunter seat coach Linzy Woolf said. “We enjoy competing against them because our teams are always pretty evenly matched. I thought we were prepared and put a lot of good rides in all week during practice. We came in very mentally focused and ready to pull out a win today.”

A&M’s hunter seat captains did their share of the heavy lifting against KSU, raising both their seasonal records over fences to an impressive 8-2 mark. Sophomore Lindsay Smith (West Friendship, Md.) earned her second most valuable rider of the season in an 86-82 shootout with KSU’s Kendall Marvin. Senior Katie Henion (Austin, Texas) also produced a big score from the judge in an 84-78 win over Wildcat Bridget Doyle.

“Both Katie and Lindsay have been wonderful leaders this year both in and out of the show ring,” Woolf said. “I feel like in any situation that I can put a little more pressure on them -- and they have been in tough situations for us before -- and they’ve been able to come through for us both in a team leadership standpoint and a performance aspect as well.”

Sophomore Kristi Waldal (Battle Ground, Wash.) rebounded from an early season fences loss to KSU’s Paige Sullivan to win over the Wildcat sophomore this time, 79-70. Freshman Brooke Coleman (Houston) evened her yearly fences record at 4-4 with a 75-72 win over KSU senior Whitney Snyder.

Senior Ashlie Soderstrom (Lake Oswego, Ore.) produced the highest score of her collegiate career in a 91-78 win over Wildcat Julie Wolfert. Soderstrom’s most valuable rider performance raised her record to 6-4.

Both senior Viviana Cordero (Sunland, Calif.) and junior Christina Matz (McKinney) snapped two-match losing streaks with wins over Kansas State. Cordero earned her second flat win of the year with an 81-72 win over Jenny Giraldin while Matz topped Kendall Marvin, 77-72. Sophomore Brittney Dodson (Amarillo) equaled a team-high seventh win on the flat this season with an 81-79 victory over Leslie Yates.

The Aggie horsemanship riders had another outstanding day, grabbing a 4-2 win over the Wildcats. Sophomore Caroline Gunn (Greensburg, Ind.) earned a team-high fourth most valuable rider honor of the season in a 74-71 win over Mikaela Sundgren.

Junior co-captain Sibyl Parsons (Combine) was awarded a collegiate career best score of 77.5 in a win over KSU’s Jana Lechtenberg (70). Freshman standout Randi Standley (Madisonville) continued her torrid pace in the horsemanship division with her team-leading seventh victory of the season, a 76-72 win over Alyssa Freeman. Junior Amanda Ryan (Ramona, Calif.) earned her second horsemanship victory of the year, a 75.5-72.5 win over Courtney Watters.

In reining, senior Genna Fishgold (Scottsdale, Ariz.) grabbed her third most valuable rider award of the year in a 74-72 win over KSU’s Danielle Pettera. Sophomore Maggie Gratny (Ft. Leavenworth) added on to her team lead in reining victories with a 73.5-71 win over Wildcat Alecia Zimbelman.

With the win, the Aggies move their seasonal record to 8-2, while the hunter seat squad rises to 9-1. The western team, which squeezed out a tiebreaker win after a 6-6 stalemate against Kansas State, rises to 6-3.

The Aggies will spend the next two weeks preparing for their final home competition of the season, a March 8 showdown with Big 12 rival Oklahoma State (8-2).