After impressive showings at the Saddle Seat World Cup Team Trials, 12 riders were chosen to represent the United States at the 2016 Saddle Seat World Cup. Thirty-two aspiring athletes, 20 in three-gaited competition and 12 in five-gaited, from 27 states tried out at William Woods University on Saturday. Each phase consisted of one rail ride and one pattern ride on unfamiliar horses. After the trials were complete six riders for each section were selected to the 2016 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team in both three-gaited and five-gaited.
The riders on 2016 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team are:
Aleia Brown - Dayton, Ohio
Molly Codeanne -Wethersfield, Conn.
Cameron Kay - W. Bloomfield, Mich.
Courtney McGinnis - Santa Barbara, Calif.
Faith Robbins - Carmel, Ind.
Kasey Saccocia - Halifax, Mass.
Ashley Brandies - Jesup, Ga.
Cailin Bridges - Salisbury, Mass.
Allie Poovey - Winston-Salem, N.C.
Ashley Stewart - Pfafftown, N.C.
Catherine Wheeler - Keswick, Va.
Rose Marie Wheeler - Anchorage, Ky.
These riders will represent the United States in July 2016 during the Saddle Seat World Cup competition in Paarl, South Africa.
The selection trails were judged by a five judge panel of Karen Homer-Brown, Ray Krussell, Jody La Salle, Matthew Roberts, and Kent Swalla. 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 Ever Glades Farm, Glendale Stables, and Stephens College. 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 seven 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 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 www.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.