Walz Chosen for 2018 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team

December 5th, 2017

By US Equestrian Communications Department

After impressive showings at the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Trials, Morgan competitor Victoria Walz of Rancho Santa Fe, California, (right) was chosen with 11 other riders to represent the United States at the 2018 Saddle Seat World Cup. Thirty-two aspiring athletes from 18 states tried out at William Woods University this past weekend. Twenty riders competed in the three-gaited section and 12 riders competed in the five-gaited. Each phase consisted of one rail ride and one pattern ride on an unfamiliar horse. After the Trials, six riders from each section were selected to the 2018 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team in three-gaited and five-gaited.

Walz was selected for the Three-Gaited Team. Joining her are:

Three-Gaited:
Lauren Arquilla
Michael Arquilla
Kaeley Arterburn
Kaylee Atkinson
Nicole Rodriguez

Five-Gaited:
Joan Benjamin
Haley Berget
Ainsley Budzinski
Matt Huke
Anne Pateman
Reagan Upton

These riders will represent the United States in July 2018 during the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup competition in Lexington, Kentucky.

The selection trails were judged by a five-judge panel of Michael Craghead, Cecile Hetzel-Dunn, Lisa Hillmer, Anne Judd, and Donna Pettry-Smith. Athletes rode horses provided by William Woods University and were given only seven minutes to warm up before each rail phase. The horses were any breed or crossbreed suited for and trained in the saddle seat discipline.

The Saddle Seat World Cup is a bi-annual international competition originating in the early 1980's as an informal exchange of saddle seat riders between the United States and South Africa. Teams from as many as seven nations now compete for the coveted World Cup titles.

The U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team is supported by grants from the USA Equestrian Trust and the United Professional Horsemen's Association. US Equestrian is pleased to partner with ModJods to provide practice jods to members of the 2018 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team. Additional contribution opportunities can be found by visiting http://www.usef.org/donate; select U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup in the dropdown menu.

For more information about the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team and the 2018 Saddle Seat World Cup, visit https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/saddle-seat/usa-saddle-seat/us-saddle-seat-world-cup-team-2.

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