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Meet Our Saddle Seat World Cup Alumni

Tate Bennett-Washington, D.C.
2002, 2004

Tate completed her undergraduate at Centre College and her graduate degree at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. where she currently works as a Legislative Assistant for Energy and Agriculture Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (U.S. Senate). Since graduating from college she has been able to ride some of her father’s young colts as well as some of Renee Biggins’ horses whenever she goes home to Kentucky. Her favorite part about competing in World Cup was being able to represent her country on the international level. Not everyone receives that privilege in their lifetime. Moreover it was an honor to represent her country in Saddle Seat Equitation; a sport her mother has also championed as a riding instructor. She feels thrilled to be a part of such an outstanding group of equestrians. Her advice to current team members is: “Be prepared for any hand of cards (or mounts rather) you are dealt. Always keep a positive attitude.”

Devon Garone-Richmond, NH

Devon graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2007 with a Degree in Marketing and since then has been teaching riding lessons at her parents’ training stable Fairfield South. Her favorite part about competing in World Cup was the thrill of the competition, meeting all of the wonderful people involved, and getting to see South Africa. She is so proud that she was a World Cup member and believes that it was an unforgettable experience. Her advice to current team members is: “Stay calm during your rides, take in all of the advice from your coaches and take advantage of every sight-seeing and cultural experience you are offered!”

Chuck Herbert -Evansville, IN
5-Gaited Coach 2005, 3-Gaited Manager 2006
US Representative for ISSEA for 4 years

Prior to being a part of World Cup, Chuck graduated from Purdue University with a Veterinary Technology degree. He currently trains American Saddlebreds at his farm in Evansville, IN. Chuck's favorite part about World Cup was the lifelong friendships he made with riders and their parents during that time, keeping the memory of World Cup alive. He was honored to be asked to manage the World Cup team and it will always be one of the proudest moments of his life. His advice to current team members is: "Enjoy every minute of it, because it is an experience of a lifetime!!"

Nick Maupin-Sussex, WI
2010, 2012

Nick is currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison double majoring in Finance Investment and Banking; Real Estate. Since World Cup he has shifted his focus to his studies and work. He takes every opportunity to ride and show as it works around his other priorities. His favorite part about competing in World Cup was the connections he made. He believes that through his remarkably talented teammates to the insightful and passionate coaches and the supportive parents he developed some of the most positive relationships in his life today. He feels so fortunate to have been on two great teams and both experiences were two of the most memorable and valuable experiences of his equitation career. To have the opportunity to serve as an ambassador for the saddle seat discipline and the United States of America was such an honor to him. He has developed leadership and adaptability skills which have been crucial for his success in school and work and looks forward to giving back to the program that has done so much for his success in and out of the show ring. His biggest piece of advice to current team members is “to put yourself out there and really get to know all of the people involved with your team because there are not many opportunities to build relationships with such talented and driven riders, coaches and individuals in general. This competition is absolutely about bringing home the gold for our country but that will come as a result of building strong team relationships and letting that translate through the rides and other experiences throughout the competition."

Alexis Muniz-Coconut Creek, FL

Alexis is a first year student at the University of Florida in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Since her involvement with World Cup she has continued to be associated with the Arabian Horse Association and plans on furthering that involvement after vet school. Her favorite part about competing in World Cup was getting to meet people from other breeds and countries as well as learn from them. She believes meeting these people not only made her a better rider but also allowed her to experience the amazing camaraderie within team USA. Being a World Cup Alumnus makes her feel extremely proud of our country and our horse industry and it especially makes her proud to be a Saddle Seat rider. As a World Cup Alumnus she is honored to spread the word about how great this event is and how wonderful our horses are. Her advice to current team members is: “Be a team. That is what it is all about. Work together and most of all enjoy yourself. This is an experience you will NEVER forget.”

Abigail Mutrux-St. Louis, MO
2010, 2012

Abby is currently a freshman at University of Missouri-Columbia. Her favorite part about competing in World Cup was being able to meet riders from other countries who also love Saddle Seat and American Saddlebreds. She feels that traveling to South Africa is something everyone should do at least once. Since her involvement with World Cup in 2010 and 2012 she and her mother have competed American Saddlebreds at the national level as well as participated in fox hunting during the winter with Bridlespur Hunt Club. Abby feels honored to have been a part of World Cup and would like to give back by helping the World Cup competition grow and gain recognition. Her advice to current team members is: "Remember that you are part of a team now. It's not like riding at a horse show. Be supportive of your teammates because they might not have the best ride or a perfect pattern-maybe that person is you. And while you should hold each other accountable, some things are out of your control like an unlucky draw. Just be sure to end each day of competition with smiles and good sportsmanship!"

Sarah Russell-Salt Lake City, UT
2004, 2006

Sarah graduated from Michigan State University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science. After college she moved to Kentucky to work with and show young horses for Nelson Green. When she got married and moved she had to stop training but she is still fortunate enough to have two horses that she bred in training with Erin and Reese Richey. She still shows and attends horse shows all summer. Her favorite part about competing in World Cup was that it blessed her with the opportunity to travel to South Africa. She feels it is such a beautiful country and the South Africans are the most gracious hosts. She hopes the team members and families of the other countries feel the same way when the United States hosts the competition. Sarah feels honored to have been a part of such a prestigious competition. She thinks World Cup really showcases the true talent of our young riders and considers being a World Cup team member one of the greatest accomplishments in her riding career. Her advice to current team members is: “Remember that you are representing your country on and off the horse. Always act with integrity and GO FOR THE GOLD!”

“Scooter” Scheurich -New Orleans, LA

Scooter currently works for Barbe Smith training American Saddlebreds. Since competing in World Cup he has graduated from being an amateur competitor to being a professional horse trainer. His favorite part about competing in World Cup was getting to participate in the sport of showing horses on a team level. Showing American Saddlebreds is usually an individual sport and getting to compete for a team was something different that he really loved. Because he still works at Cascade Stables for Barbe Smith, Scooter is still very involved in World Cup and he loves being able to help out and say that he was once a team member. His advice to current team members is: “Remember that you are on a team and in this competition it is not all about one person on the team. Being the highest scoring or lowest scoring member on your team does not matter at the end of the day. You need to work together with everyone and ride the best you can without being concerned about your own individual score.”

If you have questions or comments, please contact Kelsey Shanley at kshanley@usef.org