The U.S. Saddle Seat Young Rider Team enjoyed a successful first training session in New Orleans.
New Orleans, LA – In preparation for the 2013 US Saddle Seat Invitational, to be held April 5-6, 2013 at William Woods University, the US Saddle Seat Young Rider Team attended their first training session on March 1-3 at Cascade Stables in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was the first time the riders and coaches could all come together to work and train as a team. It afforded riders an opportunity to prepare for the Invitational competition against South Africa and Canada. Just as they will at the Invitational, Saddle Seat Young Rider Team members rode horses they were unfamiliar with.
Team members met on Friday for a meet-and-greet dinner, and the training session got underway Saturday. Five-gaited and three-gaited sections performed rail and pattern work, along with other drills on multiple horses. The session also included horseback team-building activities that helped members get to know one another, and build a team dynamic, while continuing to work in their seats. Team members also had a chance to visit some historic parts of New Orleans and relax during a trail ride.
The following three-gaited riders were in attendance: Kristen Smith (captain), Courtney McGinnis, Allison Schuh, Caroline Cherry, Lila Tartar, and Mary Mag (alternate).
In the five-gaited section the following riders attended: Shelby Hader (alt-captain), Emily Gutenkunst, William Nalty, Marjorie Townsend, McGee Bosworth, Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes.
Coaches Mandy Martin and Barbe Smith were pleased with the participation and results at the training session. “The Young Riders Team is one of the most inspiring programs USEF has created. The team practiced in New Orleans this weekend and it was truly an inspiration,” said coach Smith. “The riders rode their hearts out and as the weekend progressed, a strong team was formed. These riders are ready and eager to represent the U.S.A.”
“The practice this weekend was fantastic,” added coach Martin. “The competition in April is sure to be a great experience for everyone involved, and I am honored to be co-coaching the inaugural team.”
For more information about the US Saddle Seat Invitational, which will be open to the public, go to http://www.usef.org/documents/disciplines/SSE/2013PrizeListYR.pdf.
The US Saddle Seat Equitation Young Rider Team was created by The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) to develop riders for future US 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.
For more information on the US Saddle Seat Young Rider Team, visit the Saddle Seat Young Rider page.
If you are interested in supporting the team, or for more information, please contact any of the following National Affiliates staff members: