Thirty-two top U.S. saddle seat riders will converge on William Woods University in Fulton, Mo., on Saturday, December 5, for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Trials, attempting to earn a spot on the 2016 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team as either a three- or five-gaited competitor. Following is the list of the athletes scheduled to attend:
Aleia Brown - Dayton, Ohio
Megan Buckley - Zionsville, Ind.
Sydney Budzinski - Mukwonago, Wis.
Molly Codeanne - Wethersfield, Conn.
Katelynn Cox - Custer, Mich.
Audrey Crites - Waukee, Iowa
Raven Gropp - Augusta, Ga.
Matt Huke - Westfield, Ind.
Ada Johnson - Stillwater, Minn.
Cameron Kay - W. Bloomfield, Mich.
Kristina Mauro - Carlsbad, Calif.
Clara McCool - Newburyport, Mass.
Courtney McGinnis - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Lauren Osborne - Oklahoma City, Okla.
Faith Robbins - Carmel, Ind.
Alice Rowland - Kansas City, Mo.
Kasey Saccocia - Halifax, Mass.
Madison Stringer - Scottsdale, Ariz.
Isabella Templeton - West Des Moines, Iowa
Victoria Walz - Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Ashley Brandies - Jesup, Ga.
Cailin Bridges - Salisbury, Mass.
Abigail Kastenholz - Pewaukee, Wis.
Jennifer McGowan - Louisville, Ky.
Anne Pateman - New Orleans, La.
Laura Plant - Advance, N.C.
Allie Poovey - Winston-Salem, N.C.
Ashley Stewart - Pfafftown, N.C.
Emily Van Duren - Bedford, N.H.
Catherine Wheeler - Keswick, Va.
Rose Marie Wheeler - Anchorage, Ky.
Jade Woods - Altoona, Iowa
The riders will be evaluated by a five judge panel including:
Karen Homer-Brown - Georgetown, Ky.
Ray Krussell - Richmond, Ill.
Jody La Salle - East Woodstock, Conn.
Matthew Roberts - Cave Creek, Ariz.
Kent Swalla - Columbia, Mo.
After the Trials are complete, six team members will be selected for each section. These athletes will represent the United States in July 2016 during the International Saddle Seat World Cup competition in Paarl, South Africa.
Nearly 80 applications were received from 27 states for a chance to compete in the Trials. These athletes represent some of the United States' most experienced and talented saddle seat riders. Similar to what they will experience in the competition, the finalists will compete in the Trials riding two unfamiliar horses. The Trials are held in two phases, each consisting of one rail ride and one pattern. Participants will ride horses that may be of 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 seven nations now compete for the coveted World Cup titles.
Spectators are welcome to attend the Trials. The Three-Gaited Trials will be held 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. CT and the Five-Gaited Trials will be held 1:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. CT. For a complete schedule go to www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org.
The USA Equestrian Trust and the United Professional Horsemen's Association have provided grant support for 2016. Contribution opportunities are still available for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team. If you are interested in supporting the team's efforts go to usef.org.
For more information about the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team and the 2016 International Saddle Seat World Cup, go to www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org.
For additional information or questions regarding the Saddle Seat World Cup, please contact Lori Nelson, USEF Senior Director of National Affiliate, Competition and Alliance Partner Relationships, by phone at (859) 225-6957 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.