December 9, 2013--After impressive showings at the Saddle Seat World Cup Team Trials, 12 riders were chosen to represent the United States at the 2014 Saddle Seat World Cup. Thirty-two aspiring athletes, twenty in three gaited competition and twelve in five-gaited, from twenty-six states tried-out at William Woods University on Saturday. They rode two phases in a chilly but snow and ice free atmosphere. Each phase consisted of one rail ride and one pattern ride on unfamiliar horses. After the trials were complete five riders and one alternate for each section were selected to the 2014 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team in both three-gaited and five-gaited. The riders on 2014 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team are:
Aleia Brown/15/Dayton, Ohio
Quinn Mercier/19/Auburn, N.H.
Macey Miles/14/Rockport, Ind.
Kristen Smith/20/Crestwood, Ky.
Nadine Von Zomeran/18/Leighton, Iowa
Brooke Boyer/17/Johnston, Iowa (alternate)
Maise Benfield/13/Louisville, Ky.
McGee Bosworth/16/Greenville, S.C.
Emily Gutenkunst/18/Pewaukee, Wis.
William Nalty/15/Metairie, La.
Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes/15/Oklahoma City, Okla.
Sydney Shaw/16/Scottsdal, Az. (alternate)
These riders will represent the United States in July 2014 during the International Saddle Seat World Cup competition in Asheville, N.C.
The selection trails were judged by a four judge panel of Donna Pettry-Smith, Gary Garone, Richard Wright, and Cindy Mugnier. Riders were given only seven minutes to warm up before each rail phase and rode horses provided by William Woods University. Additional horses were provided by Stephens College, Glendale Stables and Fairview Farm. The horses were any breed or crossbreed suited for and trained in the Saddle Seat discipline.
The Saddle Seat World Cup is a bi-annual international competition originating in the early 1980's as an informal exchange of Saddle Seat riders between the United States and South Africa. Teams from as many as five nations now compete for the coveted World Cup titles.
The USA Equestrian Trust and the United Professional Horsemen's Association have provided grant support for 2014. 6D Ranch provided support for the Trials. Contribution opportunities are still available for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup. If you are interested in supporting the team's efforts go to https://www.usef.org/documents/SaddleSeat_WorldCup_Donation_Brochure.pdf.
For more information about the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team and the 2014 Saddle Seat World Cup, got to www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org.
For additional information or questions regarding the Saddle Seat World Cup, please contact Lori Nelson, USEF Assistant Executive Director, National Affiliates, by phone at (859) 225-6957 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.