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USEF Announces Judges for 2014 Saddle Seat World Cup



The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the officials selected to judge the 2014 Saddle Seat World Cup competition. Medal-winning countries from the 2012 Saddle Seat World Cup competition each put forward a judge to officiate this prestigious competition in 2014. The judges are David Brent from Canada, Hugo Visser from South Africa, and Michael Craghead from the United States.

David Brent has been an Equine Canada (EC) judge since 1977. He holds Senior Judges' cards in Welsh, Saddle Seat Equitation, American Saddlebred, Fine Harness, Arabian, Hackney, Morgan, Shetland, Road Horse, and Pleasure Pony. He was the Canadian judge for the 2004, 2006, and 2008 Saddle Seat Equitation World Cups in Kentucky and South Africa and judged at the Canadian World Cup Trials in 2010 and 2012.

Brent has owned and trained American Saddlebred, Morgan, and Hackney horses since the early 1960's. He worked with George Henderson, Marty Muller, and Merrill Murray in the late 1960's before deciding to become a teacher. Brent retired in 2002, and since then has had more time to devote to his passion for judging.

Hugo Visser, from Porterville, Western Cape, South Africa, is a Saddle Horse breeder and Amateur Owner trainer. With 54 years of horse experience and 31 years as a licensed judge, Visser brings a wealth of knowledge to this event. He has judged five World Cup Competitions, three of which were hosted in Kentucky and South Africa in consecutive World Cup years during 2006-2010.

Over the years, Visser has fashioned an impressive resume, having judged 14 National Championships, and numerous International Competitions alongside his World Cup involvement. In addition to his judging experience, his successfully established breeding program has produced multiple National Champions.

Michael Craghead is from Fresno, Calif., and has held a Saddle Seat Equitation "R" license since 2000. Currently he operates a public training stable in Fresno where he specializes in training American Saddlebreds for amateur and junior exhibitors. His horses and riders have enjoyed great success up and down the West Coast as well as at the World's Championship level.

Craghead has judged some of the most prestigious horse shows in America including the Kentucky State Fair World's Championship Horse Show, the Morgan Grand National and World Championship, and the IFSHA Friesian World and Grand National Championship. He also serves on the USEF Saddle Seat Equitation Rules Committee, the UPHA Saddle Seat Equitation Committee, and has twice been named the United Professional Horseman's Association Chapter One Horseman of the Year. 

For more information about the 2014 Saddle Seat World Cup, go to www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org.

For additional information or questions regarding the Saddle Seat World Cup, please contact Lori Nelson, USEF Assistant Executive Director, National Affiliates, by phone at (859) 225-6957 or via email at [email protected]

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