Oklahoma State Equestrian Sets Sights On 2nd National Championship In 3 Years

Oklahoma State Equestrian Sets Sights On 2nd National Championship In 3 Years

Equestrian is unlike any other sport. There's a horse, a rider, and for most of the season, one judge who determines who wins and who loses.

That provided some anxious moments as the Cowgirls claimed their fourth straight Big 12 championship.

This year was definitely the most challenging one, TCU was ranked number one and we had to go against them," said English Rider Captain Sydney North.

Under head coach Larry Sanchez, OSU has had a lot of success over the years. This one didn't start out that way, but they are performing their best at the most important time.

"I don't wanna be cliché but it's not about where you start it's about where you finish, so as a coach my strategy has always been to learn what you have during the regular season and try to refine that for postseason play," Coach Sanchez said.

There are a lot of different elements to equestrian competition. The Western and English disciplines, and the fact that riders only have four minutes before competing to get to know a horse they've never been on.

"We lost a lot of seniors last year so I think it was a lot of readjusting," said Western Rider Captain Maddie Fussell. "I was super proud of the team for coming back even stronger this spring and having the grit and determination to be better, and we did."

Now, there's one last challenge; the national championship in Florida next week, where the Cowgirls will try for their second title in three years.

"If we all go in there truly believing we can do it, which we can, again we beat TCU, I know we all can. Who knew that we were going to win the National Championship in 2022?" Fussell said.