By Andrew Glover
STILLWATER, Okla. —
After coming up empty in its first two competitions, the Oklahoma State University equestrian team was hoping for a strong showing in its first home competition. Saturday against Baylor, Oklahoma State won three of four events to finish with a 17-7 victory at the Oklahoma State Animal Sciences Arena.
“Everyone rode fantastic today,” sophomore Allie Joyce said. “Coming off the two losses at Auburn and South Carolina, our mental state today was really positive. We all had a do or die attitude.”
The Cowgirls won five of six matchups in equitation and horsemanship. In equitation all six of OSU’s riders scored at least 82 points for a total of 522 points. Senior Ellie Sparks, juniors Ali Rose, Samantha Harrison, sophomore Leighona Bernstein and freshman Amy White led the way with 88 points each.
Sophomore Katy Krshka led the team in horsemanship with a 78.5. The Cowgirls had some close matchups with sophomore Lindsey McMullen edging out Baylor’s Parris Rice 76.5-75.5 and junior Lauren Halvorson beat Ashley Garza 74.5-73.5. Oklahoma State scored 449 in horsemanship.
Oklahoma State also won in reining 4-2 and scored 410 points. Junior Mackenzie Fugitt recorded the highest score with a 72. Junior Jenna Blumer recorded a 71. The Cowgirls split equitation over fences 3-3. Joyce who rode Turtle had the highest score with an 89.
“I was really excited for the horse that I drew,” Joyce said. “He’s one of our really nice ones at home. I felt confident going into it. I had a good four minutes in the ring before that. I just had the killer instinct to perform.”
Coach Larry Sanchez said his girls rode well and was proud of how they competed.
“In the 100 seat flat, we won 5-1. Really stellar performance there,” Sanchez said. “I couldn’t be more proud of the progress we are making across the board. In the reining won 4-2. We had a couple of bobbles that we can easily fix. They are going to get stronger. In the horsemanship, I really like the performance we put on today.”
Sanchez said Joyce is developing as a rider.
“She’s a wonderful young lady,” Sanchez said. “She had a great freshman year. It’s great that she’s continuing to do that this year and scoring as high as she is.”
The Cowgirls will look for their first road victory next Saturday at South Dakota State.
“I’m looking forward to going to South Dakota,” Sanchez said. “The girls need to go on the road and get in the win column there. Continue to add to the confidence we already had today competing at home.”