K-State equestrian earns Big 12 Rider and Coach of the Year

K-State Sports Communications

Wildcat sophomore Henley Adkins was named this year's Big 12 Rider of the Year for the discipline of Equitation on the Flat at the Big 12 Championship on March 28. (Photo: K-State Athletics)

Wildcat sophomore Henley Adkins was named this year's Big 12 Rider of the Year for the discipline of Equitation on the Flat at the Big 12 Championship on March 28. One of just four Big 12 riders to earn the award (one from each discipline), Adkins has gone 17-14-0 this season and has earned six Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) honors.

At the Big 12 Championship, Adkins added a point for the Wildcats in Equitation over Fences against both Oklahoma State and Baylor.

"I am so proud of this team. We never gave up," said Adkins after the team placed second at the Big 12 Championship. "We were cheering our hearts out until the end. I am so proud of this team for sticking with it, and I cannot believe how many awards we received as a team including myself, Kara (Guy), Dani (Danielle Kemper) and Taylor (Schmidt). It was just an awesome feeling. I think that shows how hard we have been working and it paid off and was a great feeling."

Also at the Big 12 Championship, K-State head coach Casie Maxwell was named co-Big 12 Coach of the Year, sharing the honors with Baylor head coach Ellen White. Maxwell has led the Wildcats to an 8-8 overall record (3-3 Big 12) and prepared her team well at home as the team will finish this season with an 18-0 home record over the past three years.

Though the No. 10 Wildcats fell to No. 3 Baylor in the Championship meet, K-State knocked off Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship semifinals the day prior.

"You always hope to come out with a win, but I am very proud of how the girls rose to the pressure today," said Maxwell after the Big 12 Championship.

"They kept fighting all day long. We just had little things that we could have controlled today and small things we could have fixed. Those are the things that we are going to focus on between now and the National Championships. This is the best that the girls have competed in this type of pressure. We are going to build off of this momentum in the next two weeks to get us prepared for the National Championships."

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