The 2019 USEF Annual Meeting Registration is now open.

  • Share:

Athletes Gearing Up for the 2018 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Selection Trials

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Nov 27, 2017, 2:53 PM EST

Lexington, Ky. - Thirty-two top U.S. saddle seat riders will converge on William Woods University in Fulton, Mo. on Saturday, December 2, for the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team Trials, attempting to earn a spot on the 2018 U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup Team as either a three- or five-gaited competitor. The following is the list of athletes scheduled to attend:

Three-Gaited Section

Five-Gaited Section

Kerrianne Adamek (Murrysville, Pa.)

Joan Benjamin (New Orleans, La.)

Savannah Adams (San Diego, Calif.)

Haley Berget (Oconomowoc, Wisc.)

Lauren Arquilla (Woodridge, Ill.)

Cecelia Bolka (Dayton, Ohio)

Michael Arquilla (Woodridge, Ill.)

Ainsley Budzinski (Mukwonago, Wisc.)

Kaeley Arterburn (La Grange, Ky.)

Matt Huke (Westfield, Ind.)

Kaylee Atkinson (Oro Valley, Ariz.)

Makayla James (Smithfield, Ky.)

Lauren Beck (Lake Forest, Ill.)

Anne Pateman (New Orleans, La.)

Lora Becker (Sac City, Iowa)

Téa Snider (Carmel, Ind.)

Emma Bohaboy (Centerville, Ohio)

Micki Thelen (North Prairie, Wisc.)

Frannie Gefke (Oregon, Wisc.)

Reagan Upton (Birmingham, Ala.)

Ellie Grosspietsch (Cross Plains, Wisc.)

Madeleine Wood (Edmond, Okla.)

Ella Hampton (Sheridan, Ind.)

Taylor Woods (Jones, Okla.)

Nicole Leone (Kingston, N.H.)


Emma Ouellette (Springvale, Maine)


Ashley Perry (Londonderry, N.H.)


Hallie Ricci (Allentown, N.J.)


Nicole Rodriguez (Grand Blanc, Mich.)


Gabriella Snyder (St. Louis, Mo.)


Lana Trautman (Minneapolis, Minn.)


Victoria Walz (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)


The athletes will be evaluated by a five-judge panel, including Michael Craghead (Fresno, Calif.), Cecile Hetzel-Dunn (Weirsdale, Fla.), Lisa Hillmer (Kearney, Mo.), Anne Judd (Mulberry, Fla.), and Donna Pettry-Smith (New Lenox, Ill.).

After the Trials are complete, six team members will be selected for each section. These athletes will represent the United States in July 2018 during the U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup competition in Lexington, Ky.

Nearly 70 applications were received from 23 states for a chance to compete in the Trials. These athletes represent some of the United States' most experienced and talented saddle seat riders. The finalists will compete in the Trials riding two unfamiliar horses, in a format similar to what they will experience in the World Cup. The Trials are held in two phases, each consisting of one rail ride and one pattern. Participants will ride horses that may be 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.

Spectators are welcome to attend the Trials. The Three-Gaited Trials will be held 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. CST and the Five-Gaited Trials will be held 1:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. CST. For a complete schedule and information, visit

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; select U.S. Saddle Seat World Cup in the dropdown menu.

For additional information or questions regarding the Saddle Seat World Cup, please contact Lori Nelson, Senior Director of National Affiliate, Competition and Alliance Partner Relationships, by phone at (859) 225-6957 or via email at [email protected].

Like USA Saddle Seat on Facebook and find out more about Saddle Seat Equitation and all of US Equestrian’s 29 recognized breeds and disciplines in this Learning Center video. Join the conversation: follow US Equestrian on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and use #JoinTheJoy.