Fulton, MO - The US Saddle Seat World Cup Selections Trials saw 32 of the strongest saddle seat competitors in the US vie for an opportunity to represent their country at the 2012 Saddle Seat World Cup Competition. Hosted Saturday, March 31 at William Woods University, 20 three-gaited and 12 five-gaited riders proved their mettle in front of a packed audience.
Held in two phases, each consisting of one rail ride and one pattern, riders were tested on two unfamiliar horses; a format mimicking how they will compete in Parys, South Africa in December. At the end of competition, the lowest ordinal scoring riders were named to the inaugural USA Saddle Seat team under the direction of USEF.
The following riders and alternates have been named to the US Saddle Seat World Cup Team. These riders were selected based on the criteria outlined in the Selection Procedures for the 2012 US Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup Team. The Selection Procedures can be found here.
Brooke Boyer/15/ Johnston, IA
Brooke Jacobs/31/ Georgetown, KY
Alexandra Lawson/18/ North Salem, IN
Nick Maupin/18/ Sussex, WI
Abigail Mutrux/16/ Saint Louis, MO
Emily Chapman/17/ Tucson, AZ (alternate)
Hunter Chancellor/16/ Evansville, IN
Angela Darrow/20/ Hartland, WI
Drew Taylor Hewitt/16/ Advance, NC
Ali Judah/22/ Louisville, KY
Brittany Mc Ginnis/19/ Fishers, IN
Rachel Rafolski/20/ Brunswick, GA (alternate)
The breeds trained in the saddle seat discipline that were available for the riders at the Trials consisted of Arabian, Friesian, Morgan, National Show Horse and Saddlebred. The William Woods students conditioned and prepared these horses leading up to the Trials and their hard work was evident. During the Trials each horse was assigned a student groom who provided support to the riders as they primed for their competition.
Barbe Smith, who served on the six judge panel, was impressed with the involvement and support from William Woods University and the strong field of riders.
"I think (having William Woods University) involved is invaluable. I don't think anyone else could do the job they do; from the staff to the students they were all great." Smith continued; "I have judged before, been a coach and a parent and this was the best group (of riders) I've ever seen; from to top to bottom."
To learn more about the Saddle Seat World Cup Team Selection Trials visit: http://www.usefnetwork.com/news/8223/2012/3/26/saddle_seat_world_cup_team_selectio.aspx
This program is generously supported by the USA Equestrian Trust, the United Professional Horsemen's Association, 6D Ranch, Equisure, Cape Cod Equestrian Center and Shelby Horse Supply. In kind donations also provided by Farnam and Platinum Performance and Mod Jods has signed on as the official supplier of jods for USA Saddle Seat.
Contribution opportunities are still available for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team program. Learn more about supporting the Team's efforts here.
Photos of the event can be found on the official photographers website:
Photo: The 2012 US Saddle Seat World Cup Team (Laura Elcock Photography)