The Oklahoma State equestrian team picked a good day to have a dominating performance.
The Cowgirls edged the Fresno State Bulldogs 14-5 on Saturday at Totusek Arena on senior day. Strong performances from fences and reigning propelled the Cowgirls (7-5 overall) to their fifth-straight victory. OSU finished the regular season undefeated at home for the fourth time in program history.
“It’s always great to end the regular season with a win,” OSU coach Larry Sanchez said. “It gets you ready for the postseason and they did it in a dominating fashion."
The Cowgirls stockpiled an early 3-0 lead in equitation over fences. Sophomore Katie Schell finished off a 4-1 victory after an 85-78 victory against Alivia Hart.
For the first time this season, horsemanship took place outside amidst the windy yet warm weather.
“That was wonderful,” Sanchez said. “The wind was a little strong but it was well worth it. We would do it again if given the choice. It was great to be outside and it makes look forward more to our covered arena’s grand opening.”
The weather did not affect the OSU riders or the horses. The Cowgirls won 3-1-1 with points from seniors Sarah Miller and Paige Kempler.
“I thought we did really well and got the horses prepared the way we needed to,” Miller said. “We all showed off her rides and I think the final score showed that.”
Kempler was awarded her first MOP for her 76-71.5 victory against Fresno State’s (4-7) Brooklyn Moch.
“It’s incredible, and I couldn’t have scripted it any better,” Sanchez said. “Paige is one of those girls who gives her heart into everything that she does. She loves what she does, and she loves this team.”
The Cowgirls also took equitation on the flat and reigning. Abigail Brayman obtained the clinching point after an 82-69 win on the flat.
After the meet, each senior lined up as they each walked down an isle composed of their teammates with coach Sanchez waiting in the end with flowers. Despite leaving, the seniors have made an impact that will resonate with the team for years to come.
Freshman Katie Pelzel said Lauren Moorhead is one of the seniors who has made a lasting impact on her.
“She’s honestly so positive all the time during practice no matter what’s happening,” Pelzel said “You’re going to see Lauren and she’s going to have something to say that’s either going to help you or make you feel better.”
Though senior day marks as a farewell moment for the riders, their season is still not over. The Cowgirls will have two full weeks before they saddle up for the Big 12 Championship in their home stadium at Totusek Arena.