U.S. Takes Gold as WWU Hosts U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational

The strongest saddle
seat equitation riders from three countries competed for gold at William Woods
University April 5 and 6, when WWU hosted the U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational.

Saddle seat equitation
riders from the United States and South Africa competed in the 3- and 5-gaited
divisions, while Canada competed only in the 3-gaited division.
 
The top saddle seat
equitation riders were challenged by riding unfamiliar horses provided by
William Woods University in both rail and pattern work. Riders drew the two
horses they had to ride. They were judged 50 percent on rail work and 50
percent on pattern work.
 The U.S. saddle seat
team won gold in both the 3- and 5-gaited divisions, with Canada taking silver
and South Africa taking bronze. South Africa took silver in the 5-gaited
division.
 
The following are the
final scores from the competition (the lowest score is desired):
3-gaited
division:        
U.S. 186
CA 384
SA 439
5-gaited
division:
U.S. 179
SA 276
 
Students from William
Woods helped with the competition by acting as scribes for judges and grooms
for the competitors. They also tallied scores and did much more behind-the-
scenes work.
 
“I think it was a
wonderful opportunity for William Woods to be showcased internationally,” said
Sarah Track, saddle seat instructor at William Woods and host facility
coordinator for the competition.
 
“Since the whole
competition was streaming live on the USEF Network, I am hoping that Canadians
and South Africans who could not be here were watching. I am sure there were a
lot of Americans watching also. Anytime I can expose the outside world to what
a wonderful school William Woods is, I will do it!”
                                                          
 
CUTLINES:
Team USA lines up, carrying the American flag.
Horses and riders compete in the U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational.Wearing their silver medals,
Members of Team South Africa wait to receive their medals.
Team Canada parades with their
flag.