Oklahoma State got off to a fast start, winning six of the eight head-to-head competitions before the half way mark of the competition, and finished strong to cap its first Big 12 Conference Equestrian championship Saturday with a 11-5 rout of Baylor at the OSU Animal Science Arena.
The Bears came into the tournament as the No. 1 seed, and after barely squeaking by Kansas State in the first round, they couldn't overcome OSU.
Although this is the first-ever Big 12 championship for the Cowgirls, they won the equivalent to the title last year when they brought home the Central Championships title. OSU's tournament title continues their strong outings of late as the Cowgirls have won their last three shows to bring their season win total to nine.
OSU's English team competed strongly for the second day in a row, winning their portion of the completion against Baylor by a 5-3 margin for their seventh win of the season.
In equitation over fences, the Cowgirls came out with victory after a 3-1 score. Senior Jaclyn Osterstock, junior Ally Blais and Taryn Nolte all earned wins on the afternoon. Blais picked up the MVP for the discipline, which was her third of the season. She also holds an 11-3 record this season. Osterstock picked up her second win in two days in this category to give her seven victories on the year. Today was Nolte’s third win this year.
“This feels great after we lost to Texas A&M twice this season and finally redeemed ourselves in the first round," Blais said. "We went up against the number one seed, Baylor, and beat them. We were on top of our game after a stressful week of preparation. Our girls came together at the end to come up with a victory.”
In equitation on the flat, the Cowgirls tied the Bears 2-2. Senior Charlotte Collingsworth picked up her second win in two days, which was her 12th of the season. Blais also earned her second win of the day and third of the weekend, which gives her 11 in the category on the year.
The Western team earned a victory over the Bears 6-2, giving them an 8-4 record this season. In the horsemanship discipline, the Cowgirls got wins from sophomores Margaux Tucker and Courtney Whitacre and freshman Nichole Chirico. Chirico picked up her first MVP of the season, which was her sixth victory of the season. Tucker picked up her second win of the completion and her seventh of the season, while Whitacre picked up her ninth victory this year.
“We have been consistently tough all year in reining," said OSU head coach Larry Sanchez after being asked about the 1 head-to-head win needed in the reining discipline to clinch the victory. "When it came down to that, I felt comfortable that were going to be able to get it done. That is what we did all year long. Our hunter seat team did a great job and almost sealed the competition. I am just proud of our whole team all weekend long.”
In the reining discipline, the Cowgirls capped off the victory over Baylor with a 3-1 win. Senior Jacque Roberts, junior Rachell Shobe and sophomore Bri Parnell all earned victories, and Parnell earned MVP honors, her third of the season. Roberts, Shobe and Parnell each picked up their ninth wins of the season.
The Cowgirls will return to action when they travel to Waco, Texas, to compete in the Varsity Equestrian National Championships on April 16th.