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US Saddle Seat World Cup Team Selection

Applications for the 2008 US Saddle Seat World Cup Team Selection are now available for riders interested in pursuing an opportunity to qualify for the teams that will represent the United States at the 2008 International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup event.


“We are excited to announce the opportunity to apply for the United States Saddle Seat World Cup team. This begins our process of building the strongest and most talented teams to represent the United States in 2008,” said Ellen Beard, Executive Director of the organization. “We look forward to selecting the team we hope will carry on the gold medal tradition that the USA has been fortunate to establish.”


Riders from all Saddle Seat breeds are strongly encouraged to apply for the 2008 teams, each of which consists of five team members and an alternate. The purpose of the Saddle Seat World Cup is to promote the discipline of Saddle Seat Equitation on an international level. The diverse breed affiliations involved in Saddle Seat Equitation in the United States create the unique opportunity to draw from an expanded pool of top riders. Horses from the Saddlebred, Morgan, Arabian and National Show Horse breeds will be used in the competition.


A total of twenty finalists will compete to become one of five team members or an alternate for the US Three-Gaited team.  Up to 12 finalists will have earned their bids to the trials by winning one of several designated qualifying finals or by virtue of a breed association nomination. In addition, ten finalists will compete for the honors of Five-Gaited Team membership. One automatic bid for this team will be extended to the winner of a designated Five-Gaited equitation event while the remaining nine finalists are chosen from a pool of applicants.


The remaining finalists for the three-gaited team will be chosen from a pool of applicants. In the event of multiple finals wins or declined automatic bids, remaining finalist slots will be selected from the pool eligible applicants


Riders may apply for both the three- and five-gaited teams but must submit separate application materials and fees for each team.  In addition, in the event a rider qualifies for both teams, they may only represent the US on one team.


Complete details, selection guidelines and application materials are available for download at Deadline for receipt of completed application packets is 9 p.m. EST on January 4, 2008. Interested applicants must submit completed applications, a $100 non-refundable application fee, a brief essay, letters of reference, DVD or video and two photographs. Applicants must be 14 years of age on January 1, 2008, but there is no maximum age for applicants. In addition, all riders must maintain current amateur certification with the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to be eligible. 


The US Team Selection Trials are slated for February 22-24, 2008 on the campus of William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri.  William Woods graciously provides the horses used for the trials, which is designed to prepare riders for the atmosphere of the International event.  The Team Selection Trials will consist of two days of competition during which riders will complete two rail sessions, two individual patterns and one personal interview.  Scoring will be equally weighted among the riding portions to total 90%, while the interview will account for the remaining 10% of each rider’s total score.  Teams will be announced on the final day of the trials.


For more information on the US Team Selection process please visit the official website at or contact Executive Secretary Christy O’Donnell (e-mail at or telephone at 813-760-0465). The US Saddle Seat World Cup is a registered 501(c)(3) corporation.


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