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US Saddle Seat World Cup Team Named

William Woods University (WWU) 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.


Brooke Boyer,15, Johnston, Iowa

Brooke Jacobs, 31, Georgetown, Kentucky

Alexandra Lawson,18, North Salem, Indiana

Nick Maupin,18, Sussex, Wisconsin

Abigail Mutrux,16, St. Louis, Missouri

Emily Chapman,17, Tucson, Ariz. (alternate)


Hunter Chancellor,16, Evansville, Indiana

Angela Darrow, 20, Hartland, Wisconsin

Drew Taylor Hewitt,16, Advance, North Carolina

Ali Judah, 22, Louisville, Kentucky

Brittany Mc Ginnis,19, Fishers, Indiana

Rachel Rafolski,20, Brunswick, Georgia (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 WWU students conditioned and prepared the horses leading up to the trials and, according to a United States Equestrian Federation (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, click here.

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.

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