On Friday, July 25, the 2014 Saddle Seat World Cup concluded with the United States repeating their 2012 performance, sweeping the top podium positions in the competition and taking home Gold Medals in both the Three-Gaited and Five-Gaited sections. Throughout the competition, held July 22-July 25 as part of the Blue Ridge Classic Horse Show, riders performed rail and pattern work in front of the judging panel made up of David Brent (CAN), Michael Craghead (USA), and Hugo Visser (RSA).
The official results were announced at the Closing Ceremonies Friday evening. Rail work scores for the second phases had not yet been posted, so there was plenty of anticipation as riders waited to be called to the ring. After the opening ceremonies, the announcer started with the Three-Gaited section, naming the Bronze, Silver, and then Gold. The team from Canada took the Bronze medal, the Republic of South Africa took the Silver and as the coliseum erupted, the announcer called the US Saddle Seat Three-Gaited riders to the podium to collect the Gold medal. Under the direction of Nancy Becker and Gary Garone, the Three-Gaited section brought the numbers home to achieve this medal. Riders for this section included Aleia Brown, Quinn Mercier, Macey Miles, Kristen Smith (Captain), Nadine Van Zomeren and Brooke Boyer.
Next, the announcer called forward the winning teams for the Five-Gaited section. US riders had a strong showing both days, but without having the rail scores for each day, the final outcome was uncertain until the announcement came. Once again, the US Saddle Seat World Cup Team was awarded the Gold medal, with the Republic of South Africa earning the Silver and Canada, the Bronze. US Five-Gaited team members include Maisie Benfield, McGee Bosworth (Captain), Emily Gutenkunst, William Nalty, Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes and Sydney Shaw.
Watch all of phases of the 2014 Saddle Seat World Cup on-demand at USEFNetwork.com
. For more information on the Saddle Seat World Cup, contact Lori Nelson, USEF Assistant Executive Director, National Affiliates, at firstname.lastname@example.org