Cowgirls aim for back-to-back Big 12 ‘ships

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Hannah Mitchell during the Reining portion of the match against West Texas A&M on Nov 10, 2018 at Stillwater.

The defending Big 12 Champions will assemble for battle, as the No. 3 Oklahoma State equestrian team hosts the Big 12 equestrian tournament this weekend in Stillwater.

The No. 3 Cowgirls (6-5, 2-2 Big 12) are riding a five-meet win streak in to the Big 12 tournament. OSU will begin the round robin tournament against TCU at 3 p.m. on Friday and will complete play at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

OSU has split its two matches versus the seventh-ranked Horned Frogs (6-6, 1-3) this season. In Fort Worth, the Cowgirls came up short, losing 11-9 in the fall semester. They bounced back against the Horned Frogs in Stillwater, winning 12-8.

OSU’s Western team excelled against TCU when it won reining and horsemanship in each meet. All four events finished by a score 3-2 in favor of the Cowgirls.

The Cowgirls edge TCU with an all-time record of 18-10.

On Saturday, the Cowgirls will finish the day with a meet at 1 p.m. against the No. 4 Baylor Bears. Baylor (7-4, 3-1) is another team OSU has a win and a loss against this season.

The Cowgirls upset the then-No. 3 Bears by a score of 11-9 for their fall home opener, when the match came down to the last event. To start off the spring semester, the Cowgirls started their comeback too late as the Bears won 11-8.

OSU hopes to regain success as the overall record sits at 25-13 against Baylor.

What to watch for:

OSU’s reining team finished the regular season on fire, chalking up eight wins and three losses. The NCEA awarded it the best spot in the nation.

Cowgirl reining rider Stephanie Helsen is surging with eight wins out of her last nine matches. Team captain Hannah Mitchell achieved the Reining Rider of the Month honor for March for her undefeated record of 3-0. Adding to her collection, Mitchell obtained the Most Outstanding Player (MOP) honor through her streak.

Adding to the success of the Western team, OSU’s horsemanship team, who ranks No. 3 in the nation, continues to gain momentum. It hasn’t lost a meet since October against Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

OSU team captain Sarah Miller is shining in her senior year. Miller received an MOP honor and 3-0 record in March. To put the icing on the cake, she collected the Horsemanship Rider of the Month honor for March.

Cowgirl star sophomore Harley Huff continues to thrive as well. She leads the horsemanship team with eight wins on the season.

OSU’s Equitation on the Flats team and Equitation over Fences team are ranked No. 7 in the nation. Abigail Brayman and Hannah Janson lead OSU’s Hunt Seat team with six wins each. Janson earned victories in four of her last five matches on Fences and three of her last four matches on Flat.

Brayman’s sophomore season continues to impress after an incredible freshman year. She owns four MOP honors, with three honors coming from Fences and one from Flat.

The Cowgirls look to extend their win streak and stay undefeated in Stillwater by claiming another conference title.

sports.ed@ocolly.com