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Stephens College Assists in Two U.S. Gold Wins at Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup

, Mo. - Two Stephens College equestrians recently returned from South Africa, where they assisted in capturing two gold World Cup trophies for the United States in the three-gaited and five-gaited events at the 2006 International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup. The competition, which also included competitors from Canada, Great Britain, Namibia and South Africa, was held from Dec. 4-10, 2006, in Parys, South Africa.

Stephens alumna Cristina Sloan-Heet '04, who now teaches in the Stephens College Children's School, competed as the captain of the five-gaited team; and alumna Ellen Beard '84, an assistant professor in the Stephens Equestrian Studies department, serves as the executive director of the U.S. Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup. Beard, a professional equine consultant, judge and clinician, is an experienced trainer of world-class saddle seat riders.

"International competition is much more than just riding horses; there is a great commitment to representing the
United States in a positive light," Beard said. "Our Stephens College heritage strongly contributed to the professionalism of our actions. The College has a tradition of enhancing a student's leadership ability. This was very evident in that Cristina set an example for her teammates."

Stephens freshman Mandy Martin, an Equestrian Business Management major, qualified for the three-gaited team but was unable to attend the event. Martin was a member of the gold-medal winning 2004 five-gaited team.

With the two gold medals, the
U.S. successfully defended its double gold-medal performance in 2004. For more information, visit

Stephens offers a B.S. in Equestrian Business Management; a B.S. in Equestrian Science; a dual-degree program in Equestrian Science at Stephens and Animal Science at the
University of Missouri-Columbia; and a "3-2" cooperative partnership with Washington University in St. Louis. Stephens also offers minors in equestrian science and animal science.

The College's riding program began in 1925 and occupies 16 acres on the Stephens campus. Equestrian students and faculty will host the 80th annual student-produced Prince of Wales Charity Horse Show in April 2007. Stephens' Prince of Wales Club was established in 1926 and is one of the oldest continually active riding clubs in the nation.

Stephens College, established in 1833, is historically committed to meeting the changing needs of women. Stephens engages students in an innovative educational experience focused on pre-professional fields and the performing arts and grounded in the liberal arts.

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