Category Archives: Saddle Seat

Summer Sizzles with Fun Family Events This July at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Photo courtesy SDPhotography.

Jacksonville, FL –The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is turning up the summer heat through the rest of July with a sizzling lineup of exciting events that are fun for the whole family. Sparking things off on July 15th is the Jacksonville All Breed Open Horse Show. Sponsored by Holmes Ranch, this show offers all the favorite classes including Open Halter, Showmanship, Hunter Classes, Western Classes, Gaited, Saddleseat, Trail Classes, Dressage and Western Dressage. Kids 7 & under are able to show their stuff as well in the Walk Classes including lead-line and walk equitation. The show runs from 8am – 5pm, and AQHA/ARHA/Breed Specific rules apply to applicable classes.

The following week, take advantage of the chance to spend a cool summer evening with fellow equestrians in the spacious main arena on Tuesday, July 18th, in the Community Night Schooling program. The program runs from 3pm – 8pm and costs only $10 per horse. After that, things will heat back up again at the Jacksonville facility with a different kind of Horsepower. The 3rd Annual Rollin Sound & #GetLikeHeather Car Show and dB Drag on Saturday, July 22nd provides the opportunity to see Hot-Rods and Muscle Cars and hear some hot tunes like never before! Car Show classes include Best of Truck/SUV, Mini Truck, Import, Domestic, Exotic, Lights, Paint, Donks, Bike, and Best of Show. Be sure to stick around for the chance to participate and cheer on your favorite for the Crowd Pick award as well. Spectator parking is only $5, and goodies will be handed out to the first 100 people. Raffle tickets will be sold throughout the day for $1. The show starts at 10am and trophies and raffle will be awarded at 4:30pm.

July at the JEC then wraps up on Tuesday, July 25th with the rare opportunity to see some of the best Belgian Warmblood Horses in North America at the N.A. Division’s Belgian Warmblood Inspection Tour. This spectacular event runs from 7:30am – 1:00pm and gives Belgian owners and breeders the opportunity to register their youngsters and certify mares and stallions, demonstrating that they meet strict guidelines for conformation, performance, and breeding standards within the registry.

The event will be the sixth stop in the fifteen-city breed inspection tour, which is conducted by the Belgian Warmblood Breeding Association’s North American Division. Executive director, Chris Sallee, is excited to host the event at the Jacksonville facility this year. Sallee stated: “After doing some research, we knew it was the obvious choice for our keuring event in Florida. The facility is unbeatable – it has all the amenities you could ever ask for when hosting an event like this.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center looks forward to welcoming these sizzling summer events to its world-class facility. In addition to these exciting and fun summer events, plans are also in place to enhance the world-class Jacksonville facility with even more additions and construction projects set to take place over the coming months. The facility hosts a wide range of popular family-friendly events throughout the year, such as horse shows, recreational events, car shows, family fun days, dog agility trials, and equestrian events for every breed and riding discipline. For nature lovers, the property also features miles of hiking and riding trails as well as a picnic pavilion.

Known for its extensive amenities and ideal location only a short drive to the city and beautiful beaches, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 80-acre facility includes two outdoor 36,000 square foot show rings, four permanent barns, 422 stalls, 78 full hook up RV spaces, indoor and outdoor vendor spaces, and an Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information and to find out about other exciting upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904)-255-4215.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Debbie Stegner (904)-255-4215
dstegner@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Eugenio Garza and Armani SL Z Save Best for Last in $35k Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3*

Eugenio Garza and Armani SL Z.

Lexington, Ky. – May 18, 2017 – The atmosphere at the Kentucky Horse Park was electric on Friday night as fans came out to watch the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI3* as part of the Kentucky Spring Classic Horse Show. Sixty-four riders competed their horses for a chance to not only win the 1.45m class, but also earn valuable points towards winning the Hagyard Challenge Series. Eugenio Garza, of Mexico, was victorious aboard Armani SL Z even though Roberto Teran of Colombia and Il Rubacuori held a seemly unbeatable lead until the very end. Santiago Lambre and Dingeman finished in a close third place.

Armani SL Z, a 9-year-old Zangersheide gelding, has been a part of Garza’s program for three years. Garza, who is trained by the famed Irish rider and coach, Eddie Macken, has been careful to bring the striking grey gelding along thoughtfully, in hopes of achieving the moment that came in the ring tonight. The class saw very few clear rounds in the first half of competition, but by the time Garza had entered the ring, eleven other riders were waiting to come back in the jump-off. Aaron Vale, of Ocala, Fla., had even qualified all three of his rides for the short course.

Teran was the first rider to produce a clear first round on Il Rubacuori and he came back for the short course, ready to win. Internationally recognized as a fast rider, he clocked in a time of 40.29. Santiago Lambre, also of Mexico, came the closest by producing a clear round in 40.570. While Garza was schooling for the jump off, he could hear the cheers and gasps from the crowd in the Rolex Stadium and knew that he would have to put in an incredibly fast round to overcome Teran’s early lead. Armani SL Z performed like a Grand Prix veteran and crossed the times in 39.330, giving Garza the definitive win.

Not only did Garza go home with the commemorative cooler and blue ribbon, but he also earned valuable points towards the Hagyard Challenge Series. The series consists of seven grand prix classes that are held during the 2017 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park. Following the final event, a cash prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the rider accumulating the most points throughout the series. Garza is now tied with Eve Jobs, who won the $35,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic during the Kentucky Spring Horse Show.

Tim Goguen Earns Grand Open Hunter Championship aboard Expression Z 

After two days of competition in the Stonelea Ring to kick off the Kentucky Spring Classic, Tim Goguen beat out close competitor Kelley Farmer for the coveted title of Grand Open Hunter Champion on Thursday afternoon. Scoring four out of five blue ribbons in the High Performance Hunter Division, Goguen sealed two division championships, the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6, and ultimately the Grand Championship aboard 6-year-old Dutch Warmblood, Expression Z.

Tim Goguen and Expression Z

Sponsored by Visse Wedell of Wedell Real Estate, the Grand Open Hunter Championship is awarded to the combination that receives the highest number of points in their respective division. Posing the greatest competition for Goguen’s chance at the title was Kelley Farmer who had top placings with Discretion in the Conformation Hunter and It’s Me in the Green Hunter 3’9.

Goguen and Belhaven Stables, LLC’s Expression Z both stood out and received praise from respected hunter judges Rob Bielefeild and Shane George for their consistency in the High Performance and Green Hunter 3’6 during the Kentucky Spring Classic. The pair produced memorable and beautiful performances in each round, capturing top honors throughout both divisions.

Goguen of Lexington, Kentucky has earned continual success in the hunter ring, particularly excelling in the High Performance Working Hunter division. Professional hunter riders will take to the Stonelea ring once again this Saturday for the greatly anticipated USHJA National Hunter Derby, the highlight of the week.

Website: www.kentuckyhorseshows.com

Contact: Rebecca Walton
phone 561.753.3389 fax 561.753.3386
rjw@phelpsmediagroup.com
PhelpsMediaGroup.com

Macey Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful Earn Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation

Macey Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful (Howard Schatzberg Photography)

Kansas City, Mo. – Few have won the Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation. Now, Macey Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful join the coveted list of Triple Crown winners. They earned this feat after taking the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final presented by Elisabeth M. Goth at the United Professional Horsemen’s Association (UPHA) American Royal National Championship Horse Show on Saturday. The Triple Crown of Saddle Seat Equitation includes winning the UPHA Senior Challenge Cup, the Good Hands National Championship, and the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final. As the winner of USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final, Miles will have her name engraved on the Adrian Van Sinderen Trophy, alongside a prestigious list of prior winners dating back to 1937. She also earned the Helen K. Crabtree Perpetual Bronze.

“I had to work really hard; you only get one shot at the Triple Crown. This has been something I wanted since I was five years old and knew what equitation was about,” said Miles after winning the last leg of the Triple Crown. “I looked up to so many riders above me, including those who won it before me. I worked as hard as I could, and Sarah Barclay, my riding instructor, helped me get through it all.”

Coming into the USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final was not easy for Miles (Rockport, Ind.). She faced immense pressure and stiff competition, joining young women who have been a part of Gold medal-winning Saddle Seat World Cup and Young Rider Teams. She also brought an inexperienced horse, her own six-year-old American Saddlebred, Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful. For this being the gelding’s first year in equitation competition, he fooled a lot of people.

“I don’t think it would have been earthly possible for this horse to come this far in such a short time. My dad has worked night and day with this horse and has brought him to his full potential,” said Miles.

A group of 23 combinations began the USEF Saddle Seat Final with preliminary ride-offs on Saturday morning. Miles and Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful stood out to the judges of Michael Craighead (Fresno, Calif.), Gary Garone (Richmond, N.H.), and Cindy Mugnier (Belchertown, Mass.) early.

“I thought it was a really great [preliminary] pattern, and it was one everybody could do. There was a lot of transitioning, and I thought riding without stirrups would set me apart from everyone else. I was praying we would get through it, and we did; he did absolutely awesome,” said an excited Miles.

The combination advanced to the afternoon session for additional rail and pattern work, along with 11 other combinations. As the nerves crept up on Miles, she settled down after the first cantering figure eight and trusted her partner to get them through.

“I have been practicing these movements ever since I can remember, and I liked all the elements. He was absolutely great, and he did not let me down,” said Miles.

Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) claimed back-to-back Reserve Champion honors with Cedarledge Farm’s CH EG Chanti’s Prayer. With solid performances in front of the judges, Codeanne was awarded the USEF Silver medal. The Bronze medal was awarded to Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) riding her own CH Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered.

Full class results:

Champion: Macey Miles (Rockport, Ind.) with Harlem’s Wild and Wonderful
Reserve Champion: Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.) with CH EQ Chanti’s Prayer
3. Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.) with CH Meritage Signed Sealed Delivered
4. Faith Robbins (Carmel, Ind.) with Heir’s Encore
5. Madison Stringer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) with My Kind of Lover
6. Hallie Ricci (Allentown, N.J.) with CH EQ Madeira’s Fame
7. Lora Becker (Sioux City, Iowa) with Royal Tryst
8. Ellie Grosspietsch (Cross Plains, Wis.) with CH EQ Final Act
9. Kaeley Arterburn (Carlsbad, Calif.) with CH EQ La Zingara
10. Gabriella Snyder (St. Louis, Mo.) with Nuttin’ Doing

The USEF is appreciative of its class donors for helping make the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Medal Final possible: Elisabeth M. Goth (Lexington, Ky.), Mary Anne Cronan (Louisville, Ky.) Cynthia Knight (New Orleans, La.), Dr. Catherine McNeese (Austin, Texas), and Carol Reams (Frankfort, Ky.).

From the USEF Communications Department

USEF Announces the 2017 US Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams Coaches

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased announce the selection of the coaches for both of the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams. The coaching team of Avery Bul, Scott Matton, and Michelle McVey Haisch will oversee the training of the Stars team. Devon Garone, Kristin Logan, and Christy Parker are tasked with coaching the Stripes team. The teams will compete separately at the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational/Test Event on April 3-6 in Perry, Ga.

Bul (New Orleans, La.) has instructed equitation riders at Cascade Stables since graduating from William Woods University in 2012. She manages the lesson program at Cascade and has coached multiple riders selected for USA Saddle Seat Teams. She played a valuable role volunteering at the 2013 and 2015 U.S. Saddle Seat Invitationals, as well as the 2014 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup competition. Bul is a member of the USEF, ASHA, UPHA, and the UPHA Young Trainers Committee.

Garone (Richmond, N.H.) is an experienced saddle seat equitation rider and instructor.  She was a member of the 2002 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team, as well as the 2000 and 2001 Invitational Teams. Garone has been the riding instructor at Fairfield South since 2007 and was selected as the UPHA Chapter 14 Instructor of the Year for 2016.  Garone is a licensed USEF official and a member of both the USEF and the UPHA Equitation committees.

Logan (Hampton Falls, N.H.) has over 35 years of riding experience and has been instructing at Taylor River Farm since its beginning in 2004. She now serves as manager of the farm’s Lesson Academy with over 150 lessons scheduled each week.  Logan has trained numerous World and National Champion equitation riders in her time at Taylor River Farm. She is currently a member of USEF, AMHA, and UPHA.

Matton (Hartland, Wis.) has managed the training and lesson program as owner of Knollwood Farm since its inception in 1987. His equitation program has developed multiple riders who have been selected to USA Saddle Seat Teams and that have won the equitation Triple Crown. Matton coached the first U.S. five-gaited team to win a Gold medal during the 2002 Saddle Seat World Cup in South Africa. He received the Helen Crabtree Instructor of the Year Award in 2004 and the National Horsemen’s Castleman Award for excellence in the industry in 2005. He is a Large ‘R’ USEF judge and previously served on the USEF Saddle Seat Equitation Committee and the ASHA Board of Directors.

McVey Haisch (Cave Creek, Ariz.) is the owner, trainer, and instructor of Desert Palms Equestrian Center. She opened the facility 14 years ago after developing her skills working for top trainers in the saddle seat industry. McVey Haisch is the instructor of riders on the Gold medal-winning 2012 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup and 2015 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams. She teaches 40 lessons a week, while maintaining a training program of 10-15 horses.

Parker (Brunswick, Ga.) has owned and operated Pine Haven Stables since 1999. She is the instructor of multiple saddle seat equitation champions and USA Saddle Seat team members. She played a valuable role during previous U.S. Invitationals and the 2014 World Cup by donating horses for the competitions and serving as a team liaison to Team South Africa. Parker is the UPHA Chapter 17 Chairperson and serves on the ASHA Marketing Committee and Charter Club Council.

The 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team efforts are supported by the USA Equestrian Trust and the United Professional Horsemen’s Association. Additional support has been provided by American Jods, who will supply the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team. To learn more about contributing to and supporting USA Saddle Seat Team efforts, go to www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org, or contact Lori Nelson, Senior Director of National Affiliate, Competition and Alliance Partner Relationships, at lnelson@usef.org.

From the USEF Communications Department

USEF Announces the 2017 US Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is pleased to announce the selection of the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams. The USEF received nearly 100 applications from around the country. After extensive review by the selection committee, two teams of 12 riders were chosen to compete at the U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational/Test Event on April 3-6, 2017, at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Ga. The event will feature two competitions with each U.S. squad facing at least one team from a different country. South Africa and Canada have confirmed participation in the Invitational.

The following athletes were selected for the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams.

Three-Gaited
Megan Buckley (Zionsville, Ind.)
Frannie Gefke (Brooklyn, Wis.)
Raven Gropp (Augusta, Ga.)
Jacquelyn King (Tyler, Texas)
Nicole Rodriguez (Grand Blanc, Mich.)
Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)

Five-Gaited
Emily Hopp (Bellevue, Neb.)
Matt Huke (Westfield, Ind.)
Anne Pateman (New Orleans, La.)
Holly Sarette (Goffstown, N.H.)
Lindsay Slemmons (Birmingham, Ala.)
Jade Woods (Altoona, Iowa)

Three-Gaited
Grace Allison (Ringoes, N.J.)
Michael Arquilla (Woodridge, Ill.)
Lora Becker (Sac City, Iowa)
Ellie Grosspietsch (Cross Plains, Wis.)
Audra Lee (Binghamton, N.Y.)
Hallie Ricci (Allentown, N.J.)

Five-Gaited
Cecelia Bolka (Dayton, Ohio)
Ainsley Budzinski (Mukwonago, Wis.)
Madison Kobylski (Asbury, N.J.)
Olivia Schumacher (Sergeantsville, N.J.)
Te’a Snider (Carmel, Ind.)
Madeleine Wood (Edmond, Okla.)

The USEF formed the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Teams with the purpose of developing riders for future U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup competitions. During years that the Saddle Seat World Cup competition is not held, members of the Young Riders Teams will be eligible to represent the United States in other international competitions.

Unlike the selection process for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team, riders did not attend live tryouts. Instead, selection was based on application and video submissions.

For more information, please visit www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org or contact the following National Affiliates staff members:

Lori Nelson; lnelson@usef.org 859-225-6957
Terra Schroeder, tschroeder@usef.org; 859-225-6952
Erin DesNoyers, edesnoyers@usef.org; 859-225-6977
Jennifer Mellenkamp, jmellenkamp@usef.org; 859-225-6955

From the USEF Communications Department

Applications Due September 1 for 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team

Lexington, Ky. – The deadline for applications for the 2017 US Saddle Seat Young Riders Team is September 1. Riders selected will compete at the U.S. Saddle Seat Test Event/Invitational to be held April 3-6, 2017 in Perry, Georgia. The deadline was extended to September 1 after confirmation that there will not be a 2017 Test Event in South Africa.

The purpose of the Young Riders Team is to develop athletes for future U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup competitions. During years that the Saddle Seat World Cup competition is not held, members of the Young Riders Team will be eligible to represent the United States in international competition. The team will consist of six athletes for both the three- and five-gaited sections.

Unlike the selection process for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team, riders will not have to attend live tryouts to be selected for the U.S. Saddle Seat Equitation Young Rider Team. Instead, selection will be based on an application and riding video.

Please visit the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders web page for a copy of the 2017 Selection Criteria and Tips for Applicants. It is important to thoroughly read all sections prior to commencing the application process, as there are requirements and commitments that must be met to be considered.

For more information on the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team, please contact any of the following National Affiliates staff members:

Lori Nelson, lnelson@usef.org
Terra Schroeder, tschroeder@usef.org
Jennifer Mellenkamp, jmellenkamp@usef.org
Erin DesNoyers, edesnoyers@usef.org

From the USEF Communications Department

USEF Extends Deadline for 2017 US Saddle Seat Young Riders Team Applications

Lexington, Ky. – The application deadline for the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team to compete at the U.S. Test Event to be held April 3-6, 2017 in Perry, Georgia has been extended to September 1, 2016 after confirmation that there will not be a 2017 Test Event in South Africa.

The purpose of the Young Riders Team is to develop athletes for future International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup competitions. During years that the International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup is not held, Test Events allow members of the Young Riders Team to represent the United States in international competition. The team will consist of six athletes for both the three- and five-gaited sections.

Unlike the selection process for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team, riders will not have to attend live tryouts to be selected for the U.S. Saddle Seat Equitation Young Riders Team. Instead, selection will be based on an application and riding video.

Please visit the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders page for a copy of the 2017 selection criteria and tips for applicants. It is important to thoroughly read all sections prior to commencing the application process as there are requirements and commitments that must be met to be considered.

For more information on the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team, please contact any of the following National Affiliates staff members:

Lori Nelson, lnelson@usef.org
Terra Schroeder, tschroeder@usef.org
Jennifer Mellenkamp, jmellenkamp@usef.org
Erin DesNoyers, edesnoyers@usef.org

From the USEF Communications Department

US Team Earns Gold and Silver at International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup

U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team (Erin DesNoyers)

Stellenbosch, South Africa – The U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team traveled to South Africa to compete in the 2016 International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup at the Mistico Equestrian Centre, July 7-9. The twelve U.S. athletes delivered excellent performances against teams from Canada, Namibia, and South Africa. Under the guidance of coaches David Cater (Dunbarton, N.H.), Pam Roush (Lutz, Fla.), and Kent Swalla (Columbia, Mo.), the Three-Gaited section won Gold and the coveted Three-Gaited World Cup trophy while the Five-Gaited section won Silver.

The stage for the competition was set on Monday when the athletes drew for the horses they would ride during the three-day competition. On Monday and Tuesday, the athletes participated in training sessions where they had 20 minutes to familiarize themselves with horses drawn by each team – a true test of their riding skills. During the competition, the amateur athletes competed for individual scores, which ultimately accumulated toward a total team score. The Three- and Five-Gaited sections rode in two phases held over three days: rail work, where the athletes competed as a group, and then individual workouts.

Competition officially got underway on Thursday afternoon with the railwork phase. In front of the judging panel of Terry Johnson (Surrey, British Columbia, Canada), Cindy Mugnier (Belchertown, Mass.), and Aretha van Rooyen (South Africa), the U.S. Team members confidently rode their unfamiliar mounts and performed well in the first phase. On the second and third day of competition, the U.S. athletes once again produced great efforts in the individual workouts.

“I thought the team performed very well under pressure in the 2016 World Cup. It’s not easy for the riders to perform on horses that they have hardly ridden, and our team did a fabulous job with the horses we paired them each with,” coach David Cater said. “We could not be more proud of the team as a whole and both the Three- and Five-Gaited teams had brilliant performances. More importantly, they came together as a team which made the whole event more meaningful.”

The U.S. Team and supporters were thrilled with the final results announced at Saturday evening’s Award Ceremony. The Three-Gaited section of the U.S. Team received stellar scores to win its Gold medal with South Africa and Canada earning Silver and Bronze, respectively, and Namibia finishing in fourth.

The U.S. Three-Gaited section consisted of:

Aleia Brown (Dayton, Ohio)
Cameron Kay (W. Bloomfield, Mich.)
Courtney McGinnis (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
Faith Robbins (Carmel, Ind.)
Kasey Saccocia (Halifax, Mass.)
Molly Codeanne (Wethersfield, Conn.)

In the Five-Gaited section, the U.S. Team rode well in the challenging competition to win the Silver medal with South Africa earning Gold and Canada collecting Bronze.

The U.S. Five-Gaited section consisted of:

Allie Poovey (Winston Salem, N.C.)
Ashley Brandies (Jesup, Ga.)
Ashley Stewart (Pfafftown, N.C.)
Cailin Bridges (Salisbury, Mass.)
Catherine Wheeler (Keswick, Va.)
Rose Marie Wheeler (Anchorage, Ky.)

The U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team is proudly sponsored by USA Equestrian Trust, United Professional Horsemen’s Association, ModJods, Becker Brothers LLC, Ceil and Kenny Wheeler, Clifton Foundation Inc., Kim and John Stewart/Scriptor Software, Michael and Lori Robbins, The Schaffel Family, and other generous donors.

For more information about the event and a complete list of supporters, visit www.usasaddleseatworldcup.org or contact Lori Nelson, USEF Senior Director of National Affiliate, Competition and Alliance Partner Relationships, at lnelson@usef.org.

On-demand footage of the 2016 International Saddle Seat Equitation World Cup is available via SilverMane Media at www.internationalshowhorse.com.

From the USEF Communications Department

Upton Earns 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final Title

Reagan Upton and Oh Night Divine (Howard Schatzberg)

Lexington, Ky. – A field of 19 competitors, the largest field in the class’s history, vying for the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final title, kicked off the evening session at the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show on Wednesday, July 6. Following the competitive field’s display of equitation skills, 27-year-old Reagan Upton was named the unanimous 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final Champion. Upton (Birmingham, Ala.) rode St. Simons Island Saddlebreds LLC’s Oh Night Divine to top honors under the tutelage of her mother, Courtney Huguley.

When asked how it felt to be the Gold medal winner, Upton said through tears, “It’s surreal. I’m 27 years old, a poor trainer’s kid. I never had a nice horse when I was a kid. You always have to have a nice horse as a kid and I could never compete with everybody else. At 27, to finally be able to do it is so cool.”

Upton was confident in her test, but didn’t expect to be the unanimous winner.

“I felt pretty good. With 19 in there, I felt like every pass counted,” Upton said. “I felt the rail work was ribbon-worthy, but I didn’t know everyone else kind of had tough patterns. After my pattern I thought I had earned a ribbon, but I wasn’t sure because I had a couple things I could have done better.”

The talented group of riders from across the country performed on the rail, and completed an individual pattern created by the judging panel of Rodney Hicks, Raymond Krussell, and Donna Pettry-Smith.

The Reserve Champion and Silver medalist in the Final was Kristen Dull (Apple Valley, Minn.) riding In Your Sights. The Bronze medal was presented to Cecelia Hoffmann (Bolingbrook, Ill.) riding Kamunyak.

The American Horse Shows Association (AHSA) equitation medal was established in 1937 by the fourth President of the AHSA, Adrian Van Sinderen, as part of his strategy to connect horse people across the United States.

In 2001, the tradition of the medal program was extended to the adult amateur exhibitor by offering the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final. The Final was created for adult amateur riders to continue to participate in the discipline of saddle seat equitation. Since its inception, the event has been held at the Lexington Junior League Charity Horse Show.

The 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final was supported by Zubrod Stables, Cindy Mugnier, and past Zubrod Stables champions of the USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final Dr. John Stutts and Deveau Zubrod.

Results from the 2016 USEF Saddle Seat Adult Amateur Medal Final:

Champion: Reagan Upton (Birmingham, Ala.) on Oh Night Divine instructed by Courtney Huguley

Reserve Champion: Kristen Dull (Apple Valley, Minn.) on In Your Sights instructed by Sarah McClintock

Third: Cecelia Hoffmann (Bolingbrook, Ill.) on Kamunyak instructed by Jonelle Chovanec

Fourth: Jennifer McGowan (Louisville, Ky.) on The Toy Soldier instructed by Melissa Moore

Fifth: Morgan Wolin (Chicago, Ill.) on So Smitten instructed by Erin Boggs-Richey

Sixth: Avis Van Zomeren (Leighton, Iowa) on Absolutely Got It instructed by Renae Van Zomeren

Seventh: Elizabeth Cagle James (Winston-Salem, N.C.) on The Cover Story instructed by Evan Orr

Eighth: Rachel Griffis (Baxley, Ga.) on Cabernet’s Will Command instructed by Caitlin Jarriel

Ninth: Lexie Bragg (Charleston, W.V.) on CHThe Muffin Man instructed by Stephanie Lilly

Tenth: Sara Szychlinski (Genoa, Ill.) on The Princess Dianna instructed by Jessica Moctezuma

For more information about the Medal Final, contact Jennifer Mellenkamp, USEF Director, National Affiliates at jmellenkamp@usef.org or (859) 225-6955.

From the USEF Communications Department

USEF Accepting Applications for 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is now accepting applications for the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team. The purpose of the team is to develop riders for future U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup competitions. During years that the Saddle Seat World Cup competition is not held, members of the Young Rider Team will be eligible to represent the United States in other international competitions. Applications will close on August 1, 2016.

In 2017, USEF will field a team to compete at the United States Saddle Seat Test Event in Perry, Ga., April 3-8. The team will consist of six athletes for both the three- and five-gaited sections.

Unlike the selection process for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team, riders will not have to attend live tryouts to be selected for the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team. Instead, selection will be based on an application and riding video.

Please visit the U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders page for a copy of the selection criteria and tips for applicants. It is important to thoroughly read all sections prior to beginning the application process, as there are requirements and commitments that must be met to be considered.

For more information on the 2017 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Riders Team, please contact any of the following National Affiliates staff members:

Lori Nelson, lnelson@usef.org
Terra Schroeder, tschroeder@usef.org
Jennifer Mellenkamp, jmellenkamp@usef.org
Erin DesNoyers, edesnoyers@usef.org

From the USEF Communications Department