The Timbercreek Stables in Manhattan, Kan. will serve as the site of the 2012 Big 12 Equestrian Championship when the event gets underway on Friday. All four of the league’s equestrian teams will be in action with opening ceremonies beginning on Friday at 9:30 a.m. and Saturday’s consolation and championship matches beginning at 10 a.m.
The Oklahoma State Cowgirls enter the event as the No. 1 seed, after posting a 4-2 record in Big 12 play. On the season, OSU is 8-4 and riding a six-match win streak. The Cowgirls are ranked fourth in the latest Women’s Intercollegiate Equestrian National Coaches Poll. Freshman Katy Krshka has a team-high 16 wins on the season (nine in horsemanship, seven in reining) and boasts a .762 overall winning percentage.
Second-seeded Baylor was also 4-2 in league action, but BU’s two losses came to Oklahoma State giving OSU the tiebreaker. The Bears have racked up a 10-4 record overall, including two one-point wins against semifinal opponent Texas A&M. BU is ranked fifth in the coaches’ poll.
Defending Big 12 champion Texas A&M will be seeded third after a 3-3 mark in league action. The Aggies will be looking to repeat as champions, after capturing the trophy last season with an 11-4 victory over Oklahoma State in College Station, Texas. This season, Texas A&M boasts a 9-3 mark and a No. 2 ranking in the coaches’ poll. Senior Lia Chafee will end her Aggie career next month as the winningest hunter seat rider in school history, entering the weekend with 42 combined victories.
Championship host Kansas State will be the No. 4 seed at the event. The Wildcats were 5-7 during the regular season and 1-5 in Big 12 play. However, the Wildcats’ league victory came against semifinal foe Oklahoma State on the road. K-State is ranked eighth in the latest coaches’ poll.
The 2012 season marks the first year that equestrian has been a fully-sponsored Big 12 sport. For the past three seasons the sport has been supported by the Conference on a limited basis, however, the three championships won during those years will be recognized by the league. Oklahoma State (2009), Baylor (2010) and Texas A&M (2011) all won the event while hosting it.
Admission for both days of the event is free and open to the public. For updates on the event follow the Big 12 Conference on Twitter (@Big12Conference).