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US Selects World Cup Teams, Announces Coaches/Managers, and Raises Funds

The US Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup is pleased to announce the members of its teams for 2006. Twenty three-gaited and ten five-gaited finalists competed for positions on the teams at
William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri over the weekend of March 17-19. Five riders and an alternate were selected for each of the teams.

These outstanding riders will represent the United States at the 2006 International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup event. The prestigious international competition will be held November 26-December 2, 2006 in Parys, South Africa.

“The 2006 World Cup trials represented the goal for which we strive,” said Ellen Beard, Executive Director. “The best riders from the Saddle Seat equitation and the performance worlds came together to compete for the coveted five slots on the 3 and 5 gaited teams. I think it is outstanding that our three-gaited team consists of riders from the Saddlebred, Arabian, National Show Horse and Morgan breeds. Most of the competitors are not only top equitation riders, but have been highly successful in performance competition as well. This exemplifies the horsemanship ability that our team possesses. Our 2006 teams have the depth of talent to meet the challenges of international competition.”


The members of the 2006 US Saddle Seat World Cup Teams are:

Jacqueline Beck (Aliso Viejo, CA)
Michelle Krentz
(Hartford, WI)
Alexis Scott
(Des Moines, IA)
Sarah Taylor
(Davison, MI)
Deveau Zubrod
(Versailles, KY and Westerville, OH)
Mandy Martin (Alternate)
(Diamondhead, MS)

Ashley Alden
(Deer Park, IL)
Jamie Bender (Springfield, NE)
Brooke Jacobs (Georgetown, KY)
Ali Judah (Louisville, KY)
Cristina Sloan
(Hallsville, MO)
Rachael North (Alternate) (Goshen, KY)

The coaches and managers for the 2006 teams have also been announced:

Renee Biggins – Coach (Simpsonville, KY)
Chuck Herbert – Manager (Evansville, IN)

Lynda Freseth – Coach (Oconomowoc, WI)
Liz McBride-Jones – Manager (Raeford, NC)

William Woods University again served as the site for and provided the horses used in the trials. Gayle Lampe, Laura Ward and their staff and students at William Woods continued their outstanding efforts to ensure that the competition was fair and went smoothly. The trials are designed to prepare riders for the unique atmosphere of the international event.

The Team Selection Trials consisted of two days of competition during which riders completed two rail sessions, two individual patterns and one personal interview. Scoring was equally weighted among the riding portions to total 90%, while the interview accounted for the remaining 10% of each rider’s total score. A distinguished panel of judges from multiple breed affiliations scored the event. The judges included: Michael Craghead, Karen Homer-Brown, Patty Kent, Marilyn Macfarlane, Ann Slomkowski and Barbe Smith.

Riders from all Saddle Seat breeds were eligible to compete for membership on the 2006 teams. The purpose of the Saddle Seat World Cup is to promote the discipline of Saddle Seat Equitation on an international level. The diversity involved in Saddle Seat Equitation in the United States creates the unique opportunity to draw from an expanded pool of top riders.

For the three-gaited team, nine finalists earned their bids to the trials by winning one of several designated qualifying finals or by virtue of a breed association nomination. The remaining 11 finalists for the three-gaited team were chosen from a pool of applicants. In addition, ten finalists competed for the honors of Five-Gaited Team membership. One automatic bid for this team was extended to the winner of the Five-Gaited Horsemanship event while the remaining nine finalists were chosen from a pool of applicants.

This marked the second time that riders were permitted to apply for both the three- and five-gaited teams but had to submit separate application materials and fees for each team. However, riders were asked to designate their team of preference prior to the competition. In the event that a rider qualified for both teams, they were assigned to their first choice team. US rules state that a rider may only represent the US on one team in the same year. A total of four finalists competed for membership on both teams.

All finalists were honored at a dinner held on Saturday evening and the teams were announced at an awards luncheon on Sunday, the final day of the trials. The dinner also proved to be a lucrative fundraiser, taking in more than $8,000 for the organization. A live auction for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to ride four multi-titled World’s Champions raised $5,750. The auction included rides on WC Sammyshine, WC 98 Degrees, WGC Callaway’s Forecaster and WGC An Heir About Her. Creative baskets designed by each of the finalists were raffled off as well, adding nearly $2,500 to the fundraising total.

For more information on the US Team Selection process or the 2006 international event—including sponsorships and contributions—please contact Executive Secretary Christy O’Donnell by e-mail or telephone at (813) 760-0465.

The mission of the US Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup is to expand the presence of Saddle Seat Equitation on both national and international levels through team-based competition and promotion of the discipline by our athletes and officials. The US Saddle Seat World Cup is a registered 501(c)(3) corporation.

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