Ten riders and four coaches will represent the U.S. at the Saddle Seat World Cup in Parys, South Africa on December 5-8. The team made up of two sections, Three-Gaited and Five-Gaited, will compete against four other countries as they vie for top honors in saddle seat equitation.
The Three-Gaited section is made up of team members Brooke Boyer (Johnston, IA), Emily Chapman (Tucson, AZ), Brooke Jacobs (Georgetown, KY), Alexandra Lawson (North Salem, IN), and team captain Abigail Muturx (St. Louis, MO). Jacobs is a five-time member of the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup team and was the 2011 UPHA Adult Challenge Cup Grand Champion. Mutrux, the 2012 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final Reserve Champion, was a member of the 2010 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Three-Gaited section. Lawson was the 2011 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final Champion while Boyer and Chapman have had several top ten placings at major competitions. The traveling alternate for the Three-Gaited section, Kristen Smith (Crestwood, KY), was the 2012 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final Champion. This experienced group is coached by Kristen Cater (Dunbarton, NH) and Cindy Mugnier (Belchertown, MA).
Hunter Chancellor (Evansville, IN), Angela Darrow (Hartland, WI), Drew Taylor Hewitt (Bermuda Run, NC), Ali Judah (Louisville, KY), and team captain Nick Maupin (Sussex, WI) comprise the Five-Gaited section of the U.S. team. Three of the team members have competed in the Saddle Seat World Cup before: Hewitt (2010), Judah (2006, 2010), and Maupin (2010). Chancellor, the newly crowned 2012 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final Champion, and Darrow, the 2009 Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited 14-17 World's Champion, round out the group coached by Sandra Currier (Belville, TX) and Brent Jacobs (Georgetown, KY).
The Saddle Seat World Cup is a bi-annual competition which originated in the early 1980s with an informal exchange of saddle seat athletes in the United States and South Africa. Originally a Three-Gaited saddle seat equitation showcase, it has expanded to include a Five-Gaited component, as well. Teams compete for the coveted World Cup titles, with the goal of further growth and visibility for the saddle seat discipline on national and international levels. This year, the countries competing for the World Cup titles are the United States of America, Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the Republic of South Africa.
The event features amateur athletes 14 years of age and older who compete on unfamiliar horses that are supplied by the host competition. Riders perform rail work and individual patterns on two different horses competing for individual scores. Those scores will be used to determine a total team score.
The competition begins December 5 with the Opening Ceremonies at 6:15pm local time. The first round of rail work and patterns begins December 6 with the Five-Gaited section at 9:00am and the Three-Gaited section at 2:00pm.
The U.S. team media guide is available here.
For more information, please contact Lori Nelson, USEF Assistant Executive Director, National Affiliates, at firstname.lastname@example.org.