After edging out the Baylor Bears in the fall, the Oklahoma State equestrian team looks to repeat its success this weekend.
The No. 7 Cowgirls (2-4 overall, 1-1 Big 12) look forward to resume their riding in Waco against their conference foe at 11 a.m. Saturday morning.
OSU coach Larry Sanchez talked a little about his team before the second half of the season begins.
“There is a lot of excitement here at the barn,” Sanchez said. “You can just feel it in the air that [the Cowgirls] are very excited to get going and start the competitions for the spring.”
OSU recorded both wins at home. One of those wins came when the Cowgirls upset then-No. 3 Baylor (4-3, 1-1) in a comeback effort to win 11-9.
The Reining team (4-2) closed out the fall season ranked No. 3 in the country. It had crucial wins in matches against Baylor and Auburn. Stephanie Helsen and Hunter DeJane are on hot-streaks coming in to the spring.
Team captain and junior rider Hannah Mitchell was a key member on the Reining team. She posted an event-high score of 71.5 against the Bears in the fall. Mitchell completed the fall season with a record of 4-1-1.
“Hannah Mitchell is like no other,” Sanchez said. “You know, being the Freshman Reining Rider of the Year in National Collegiate Equestrian Association is a huge accomplishment. We knew she was that talented recruiting her and bringing her in. She backed that up we she got here and continues to impress us in practice and in the competition arena, every day.”
Cowgirl freshman Sydnie Ziegler rode her way to Equitation over Fences honors in the fall semester. The star rider put down a career-high score of 85 on fence versus the Bears. Ziegler finished with an overall record of 5-1 and the most wins by any Big 12 freshman.
Oklahoma State holds an all-time record of 24-12 over Baylor. A victory in Waco would give the Cowgirls five-straight wins over the Bears, but Sanchez knows they are a competitive team in every meeting.
“Baylor is always tough,” Sanchez said. “They’re well coached. They have some top riders. I don’t expect anything but their best when we go down there.”