Katy Doke—OPSU photo Katy Doke—OPSU photo
**For Immediate Release** Doke Earns NVRHA National Title —By Laura Nelson on 10/03/2012 Colorado Springs, Colo.—Oklahoma Panhandle State University student Katy Doke and her horse Mr Chics Dig It won the national title in the Intermediate Division at the National Versatility Ranch Horse Association (NVRHA) on Sept. 23 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Doke and her equine partner competed in five different classes that weekend to earn enough points to win, earning first in Ranch Conformation; second in Ranch Cutting, Ranch Riding, and Ranch Trail; and fourth in the Working Ranch Horse class. Head equestrian team coach Channing Hawks said, "This is the first year for any of our students to win a title for OPSU at the national show."

Katy also proved consistency matters as she was awarded third overall in the year end awards in the Collegiate Division, recognition for riders based on the cumulative points they earned over the year.

Jena Braun and Misty Lethcho also competed at the national show in the Novice Division, and both for the first time. Riding OPSU horses, Braun earned fourth in the Ranch Trail class and eighth in the Ranch Riding class on "Bully" while Lethcho earned tenth in the Ranch Cutting and Working Ranch Horse classes while riding "Buddy."

The team's attention now turns to their first Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) competition of the year. Riders compete in different levels, depending upon their experience. As they earn points, they move to the next level. At IHSA shows, the horses are provided by the school hosting the competition and they are also ranked according to their level of training. Contestants draw a horse based upon their own experience and the horses' training and the rider strives to show the horse to best of his or her ability. The IHSA offers shows in Western Riding as well as in Hunter Seat Riding.

OPSU has nine riders on the equestrian and their first show is scheduled for Oct.13-14 in Colby, Kan., and then they show again in Lincoln, Neb. the first week in November. According to Hawks, "Our equestrian doesn't have a lot of experience, but we do have a lot of talent. We look forward to beginning competition!"