In preparation for the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational/Test Event, the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams attended their first training sessions at Cascade Stables in New Orleans, Louisiana, and High Caliber Stables in Greensboro, North Carolina. This was the first opportunity the riders and coaches came together to work and train as teams. It also afforded riders the opportunity to prepare for competition by riding multiple horses unfamiliar to them, just as they will at the Invitational/Test Event.
The Stars Team training session was held November 18-19, 2016 at Cascade Stables in preparation for the U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational/Test Event to be held April 3-6, 2017 in Perry, Georgia. Team practice led by coaches Avery Bul, Scott Matton and Michelle McVey Haisch began Saturday morning with both three-gaited and five-gaited sections doing rail and pattern work, along with other drills on multiple horses.
The following team members were in attendance and gained insight from coaches Bul, McVey Haisch and Matton:
Grace Allison (Ringoes, New Jersey)
Michael Arquilla (Woodridge, Illinois)
Lora Becker (Sac City, Iowa)
Ellie Grosspietsch (Cross Plains, Wisconsin)
Audra Lee (Binghamton, New York)
Hallie Ricci (Allentown, New Jersey)
Cecelia Bolka (Dayton, Ohio)
Ainsley Budzinski (Mukwonago, Wisconsin)
Madison Kobylski (Asbury, New Jersey)
Olivia Schumacher (Sergeantsville, New Jersey)
Téa Snider (Carmel, Indiana)
Madeleine Wood (Edmond, Oklahoma)
“What a great time our riders had at the practice at Cascade Stables! Every single one of them worked very hard, and I was so impressed by their skills and work ethic,” McVey Haisch said. “We are ready to go win the gold!”
The Stripes Team training session was held December 2-3, 2016 at High Caliber Stables, also in preparation for the U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational/Test Event. The session followed a similar schedule to the Stripes Team training session and was led by coaches Devon Garone, Kristin Logan, and Christy Parker.
The following team members were in attendance and gained insight from Garone, Logan and Parker:
Frannie Gefke (Brooklyn, Wisconsin)
Raven Gropp (Augusta, Georgia)
Jacquelyn King (Tyler, Texas)
Joseph Plunkett (Tucson, Arizona)
Nicole Rodriguez (Grand Blanc, Michigan)
Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, California)
Emily Hopp (Bellevue, Nebraska)
Matt Huke (Westfield, Indiana)
Anne Pateman (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Holly Sarette (Goffstown, New Hampshire)
Lindsay Slemmons (Birmingham, Alabama)
Jade Woods (Altoona, Iowa)
“I’m so excited to work with such a great team of riders! Beyond their skill and talent, their ability to team build and work together is outstanding,” Logan said. “All having a strong base as far as form, we used our time to focus using that ‘form to function’ and switching horses and getting a feel for who will be best matched with what style of horse. The team has some homework; ideas were sent home to work on pattern elements and strengthening, with the advice to ride as many different horses as they can. I’m looking forward to our next practice!”
“I was thrilled with the U.S. team's first practice. We are fortunate to have 12 very talented and hard-working riders. Each rider handled a wide variety of horses with ease,” explained Parker. “Our team immediately developed a sense of camaraderie and focus, which enabled us to get quite a lot accomplished over a short weekend. A huge thank you to High Caliber for hosting us this past weekend!”
The athletes will meet again to practice prior to the U.S. Invitational/Test Event in April.
The 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team efforts are supported by the USA Equestrian Trust and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association. The USEF is pleased to partner with American Jods, who supplied practice jods for the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams.
For more information about the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams and the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational/Test Event, go to www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org.
For additional information or questions regarding the Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams, please contact Lori Nelson, Senior Director of National Affiliate, Competition, and Alliance Partner Relationships, by phone at (859) 225-6957 or via email at email@example.com.
-- via USEF