While everyone’s attention is on football this fall at Oklahoma State University, there is another team that is kicking off its season.
The Oklahoma State equestrian team is chasing a national championship this year.
As the Cowgirls are currently ranked No. 4 in the nation, this might be the year they do it.
Competing at the national level is nothing new for the Cowgirls as they have won NCEA Western National Champions four times. The last time they won was in 2013, the same year head coach Larry Sanchez won Coach of the Year.
OSU is challenging high-level competition early this year as it looks to win its first NCEA Overall Championship.
Coming off a narrow 12-8 loss to the defending national champions and No. 1 ranked Auburn, the Cowgirls will compete at Totusek Arena first time this year against South Dakota State on Friday.
This year’s team is led by a strong group of upperclassman.
The Cowgirls have many accolades spread across the four different riding events. Senior captain Hannah Mitchell was a 2016-2017 first-team All-American in reining, and also has been a two-time second team All-American in the same event. In Horsemanship, junior Harley Huff was a first team All-American in 2017-18 and a second team All-American last year.
To go with all that, four other riders on the team have earned five All-American Honorable Mentions.
Needless to say, this is a team that is used to winning.
In the last 11 years, the Cowgirls have won six Big 12 championships and established themselves as the best team in the conference. In the past two years, junior Abigail Brayman has dominated Big 12 competition in the Hunter Seat events. The Cowgirls are hungry for another Big 12 championship this year after a tiebreaker loss to Baylor in the championship last year.
OSU’s first Big 12 competition this year will come against Baylor at home on Oct. 18.
“We’re really just getting ready as a team,” Mitchell said. “We’re trying to improve from last weekend on a lot of things.”