William Woods to Host Saddle Seat Riders from South Africa in Invitational

Ten riders from South Africa are at William Woods University this week to compete in a five-gaited and three-gaited saddle seat competition against teams from the United States.

Three William Woods equestrian majors will help represent the United States. They are Jamie Bender, a junior from Springfield, Neb.; Liz Duggan, a senior from Clearwater, Fla., and Amanda Wright, a senior from Ilion, N.Y.

The actual competition, consisting of rail work and workouts, will begin with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. Saturday (Dec. 3) in WWU’s large indoor arena. It is free and open to the public. The competition will continue Sunday morning at 9, followed by the medal ceremony and a luncheon for the riders and supporters.

Outstanding riders from all over the United States are competing as members of Team USA. On the five-gaited team, in addition to Bender and Wright, are Ashley Adlen, Piper Granger, Brooke Jacobs and Cristina Sloan. In addition to Duggan, the three-gaited team consists of Emily Abbott, Jacquelene Beck, Toria Heck, Michelle Krentz and Aimee Langer.

Coaches for Team USA are Brent Jacobs and Donna Smith. Team manager is Jane Jacobs. Judges for the event will be Linda Lowary, Julie Arnston Wroble and Chuck Herbert.

Representing South Africa will be Henno Heyns, Andre de Villiers, Alex van der Walt, Hanlo Smith, Tharine Smith, Carla Marie Schellink, Lindsay Owen, Madrie du Preez, Kristie van der Westhuizen, and Ruda Oosthuizen. Some of their riders will ride on both teams.

Serving as coaches for Team South Africa will be Koekie de Villiers and Martin Pienaar. Manager is Jeanne de Villiers. Eleven South African supporters are visiting the United States with them.

Many activities are planned for the teams and supporters during the week leading up to the competition. These include a trip to the American Saddle Horse Museum in Mexico, Mo., and barn trips to Virgil Helm Stables, Callaway Hills, Bob Brison Stables and Mike Roberts Stable and attending the Superior Horse Sale in Columbia.

Brent and Jane Jacobs of Werk Way Stables in Georgetown, Ky., and Maili Wallen of Rogersville, Mo., teamed up to bring the international invitational to the WWU campus. Equestrian professors Gayle Lampe and Laura Ward are the local facilitators and the United Professional Horsemens’ Association (UPHA) Chapter V is a co-sponsor.

Everyone is welcome to attend this invitational to see some of the best talent the United States and South Africa have to offer. Youth groups are especially encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Jane Jacobs at (502) 863-0416 or (859) 321-5393 (cell).


Saturday, Dec. 3

9 a.m. Opening Ceremonies

9:45 a.m – 12:45 p.m. Riding Competitions

Detailed breakdown:

9:45 a.m. Group One Competition

10:30 a.m. Group Two Competition

11:15 a.m. Group Three Competition

Noon Group Four Competition

Sunday, Dec. 4

9 a.m. – Noon Riding Competitions

9 a.m. Group One Competition

9:45 a.m. Group Two Competition

10:30 a.m. Group Three Competition

11:50 a.m. Group Four Competition