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U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Attends First Training Session



In preparation for the 2016 Saddle Seat World Cup, the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team attended its first training session at Cascade Stables in New Orleans, La. This training session was the first time the athletes and coaches could come together to work and train as a team. It also afforded athletes the opportunity to prepare for World Cup competition by riding multiple horses unfamiliar to them, just as they will at the World Cup.

Team practice, led by coaches Pam Roush, Barbe Smith, and Kent Swalla, began early Saturday morning with both five-gaited and three-gaited sections doing rail and pattern work, along with other drills on multiple horses. Physiotherapist Andy Thomas attended the practice to evaluate the members and provide guidance on areas riders could work on to strengthen their core, as well as assist riders in their continued training efforts. Team members also received valuable insight about teamwork and competition from Tulane University's men's basketball seventh all-time leading scorer, John Arthurs.

The following team members were in attendance at the first training session:

Three-Gaited

Aleia Brown (Dayton, Ohio)

Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.)

Cameron Kay (W. Bloomfield, Mich.)

Courtney McGinnis (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

Faith Robbins (Carmel, Ind.)

Kasey Saccocia (Halifax, Mass.)

Five-Gaited

Ashley Brandies (Jesup, Ga.)

Cailin Bridges (Salisbury, Mass.)

Allie Poovey (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

Ashley Stewart (Pfafftown, N.C.)

Catherine Wheeler (Keswick, Va.)

Rose Marie Wheeler (Anchorage, Ky.)

In addition to representing the team, Cameron Kay and Allie Poovey were selected to represent the United States in Individual Competition, which will be held at the Saddle Seat World Cup in July.

"The abilities and determination shown by the riders this weekend was exceptional," said Coach Barbe Smith. "We heard from excellent speakers who shared their expertise to further develop the team.  The practice was a success and we are looking forward to competing in South Africa this summer."

The athletes will meet again to practice prior to the Saddle Seat World Cup held July 7-9 in Stellenbosch, South Africa, but will continue their training efforts at their respective training facilities.

The Saddle Seat World Cup Team is supported by grants from USA Equestrian Trust and the United Professional Horsemen's Association. Additional support has been provided by the following generous donors: Ceil and Kenny Wheeler, Dr. John and Mrs. Kim Stewart/Scriptor Software, Michael and Lori Robbins, the Schaffel Family, Northern Trust, and the Rowland Family. Contribution opportunities are still available for the Saddle Seat World Cup Team. To find more information if you are interested in supporting the team's efforts, visit usef.org.

For more information about the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team and the 2016 Saddle Seat World Cup, go to www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org.

For additional information or questions regarding the Saddle Seat World Cup Team, please contact Lori Nelson, Senior Director of National Affiliate, Competition and Alliance Partner Relationships, National Affiliates, by phone at (859) 225-6957 or via email at lnelson@usef.org

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