WWU hosts 2012 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Trials

Photo
and story by Rebekah Savage, WWU ’14

William Woods University hosted the United States
Saddle Seat World Cup Selection
Trials Saturday, March 31, and 32 of the strongest saddle seat competitors in the U.S. proved their mettle in front of a
packed audience.

The riders were vying for an
opportunity to represent their country in the 2012
Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup in Parys, South Africa, in December.
 
Of the 32 riders, 20
were three-gaited riders and 12 were five-gaited riders. Five riders from each gaited
division were selected to compete, and a sixth rider for each division
was chosen as an alternate.

Held
in two phases, each consisting
of one rail ride and one pattern, riders were tested on two unfamiliar horses;
a format mimicking how they will compete in December.

The following riders
and alternates have been named to the US Saddle Seat World Cup Team.
Three-Gaited
  • Brooke Boyer,15, Johnston, Iowa
  • Brooke Jacobs, 31, Georgetown,
    Ky.
  • Alexandra Lawson,18, North
    Salem, Ind.
  • Nick Maupin,18, Sussex, Wis.
  • Abigail Mutrux,16, St.
    Louis, Mo.
  • Emily Chapman,17, Tucson, Ariz.
    (alternate)
Five-Gaited
  • Hunter Chancellor,16,
    Evansville, Ind.
  • Angela Darrow, 20, Hartland,
    Wis.
  • Drew Taylor Hewitt,16, Advance,
    N.C.
  • Ali Judah, 22, Louisville, Ky.
  • Brittany Mc Ginnis,19, Fishers,
    Ind.
  • Rachel Rafolski,20, Brunswick,
    Ga. (alternate)

The
breeds trained in the saddle
seat discipline that were
available for the riders at the trials consisted of Arabian, Friesian, Morgan, National Show
Horse and Saddlebred.  The William Woods students conditioned and prepared
the horses leading up to the trials and, according to a USEF news release, “their hard work
was evident.”

WWU saddle seat horses
provided the incoming riders with mounts for the trials. Saddle seat riders
from WWU acted as grooms,
scribes, ran the concession stand and much more behind the scenes work. The
saddle seat teaching tech class came up with the patterns. During the trials each horse was
assigned a student groom who provided
support to the riders as they primed
for their
competition.

Barbe
Smith, who served on
the six-judge panel, was
quoted in the USEF news
release as saying she
was impressed with the involvement and support from William Woods University
and the strong field of riders.

“I
think (having William Woods University) involved is invaluable. I don’t think anyone else
could do the job they do; from the staff to the students they were all great,”
she said.

She
added, “I have judged before, been a coach and a parent and this was the best group (of
riders) I’ve ever seen, from to top to bottom.”
Sarah Track, the saddle
seat instructor at WWU, was pleased.
 
“It went really great.
We had really positive feedback from judges, families and riders. The horses
were well behaved and
patterns went well,” Track
said. “It was great to have top-level trainers here and (for
them) to be complimentary.”

To
learn more about the Saddle Seat World Cup Team Selection
Trials visit: http://www.usefnetwork.com/news/8223/2012/3/26/saddle_seat_world_cup_team_selectio.aspx

This
program is generously supported by the USA Equestrian
Trust, the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, 6D
Ranch, Equisure, Cape Cod
Equestrian Center and Shelby Horse Supply. In kind
donations also provided by Farnam and Platinum Performance and Mod Jods has signed
on as the official
supplier of jods for USA Saddle Seat.