The three-man U.S. team consisted of six athletes from Arabian Circuit, Morgan, and American Saddle Breed: Ella Hampton (Sheridan, Indiana); Boston Leffler (Zionsville, Indiana); Alayna Locascio (Dayton, Ohio); Jessica Manzo (Lexington, Kentucky); Sophie Owlette (Springville, Maine); And Sophie Yeh (Alamo, California)
The five members of the quintet are Halle Bergit (Oconomuc, Wes.); Nicole Lyon (Kingston, New Hampshire); My Luce (Spring Grove, Illinois); Mia Provenzano (Elmhurst, Illinois); and Lauren Tripper (Hartland, Wisconsin).
Both teams were coached by Pam Roche (Lutz, FL) and Katie Case (Shelbyville, Kentucky) along with assistant coaches Georgia and Jimmy Morrison (Nitro, W.VA).
The World Cup competition spans over two days, and each day, riders compete on the rail stage and perform in a solo mode. They ride a different horse each day, and the horses for this week are donated by many different stables and individual owners; Riders are paired up with horses he had never ridden before the week of the World Cup. In the two days leading up to the competition, teams get a 20-minute training session each day to get to know the horses for a while. Trainers have the option to swap horses within their teams to create perfect horse and rider combinations for competition.
“The teams were great,” said US team coach Pam Roach. “We had a tough draw the first day on two horses and they handled them beautifully. They came in early the next day, and they practiced these patterns [on foot]And we really got our details accurate on day two.”
“It was fun because I saw the riders getting better day by day,” said US team coach Katie Kiss. “It’s two days of training and two days of competition. During training, we learned some things, and during competition we also learned some things. And I was able to see them grow up, not just as riders, but as people as well.”
The World Cup is held every two years and alternates between the United States and South Africa as the host countries. As one of the only group competitions for saddle riders, it provides a unique and invaluable experience for all participants.
“By the start of this week, a lot of these kids knew each other but never officially met,” said assistant coach Jimmy Morrison. “From the first moment they met, they all clicked. It was like they were sisters. So we knew going into that we were going to have a good team.”
“They have developed such wonderful relationships with the other kids, not just on the US team, but from the international teams,” Morrison added. “Just the general experience and emotions that they had during the week, going through the experiences of learning horses, getting through all the difficulties and getting to the top, is something they will never forget.”
“It’s a unique opportunity to be able to compete in the World Cup because our sport as a whole is an individual sport,” said Case. “What I feel the gold has really done for our team is that we came together as a group, and each contestant gave their best to the show ring, and that helped make the magic.”
USA Saddle Seat offers a group experience for young riders in the years between the World Cup years. Roche encourages all interested athletes to participate in these programs, either by applying for a team or volunteering as a groom.
“If you are a rider on the saddle seat and you are interested in the World Cup or Young Riders, apply, apply and apply!” Roche said. “Come and volunteer, which is the big thing. When you come back here with these girls and see how it all happens, it boosts your confidence to go and do it yourself.”
World Cup results to equal saddle 2022
- Gold Medal: Team USA
- Silver Medal: Team South Africa
- Bronze: International Team
- Gold Medal: International Team
- Silver Medal: Team South Africa
- Bronze: Team USA
Learn more about the USA Saddle Seat programs here.
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