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U.S. Young Riders win Double Gold in New Orleans

RELEASE: June 30, 2013
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: USEF National Affiliates Department

New Orleans, LA - Riders from South Africa and the United States braved the Louisiana heat over the weekend for international team saddle seat equitation competition at the U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational II. The U.S. was represented by the 2013 U.S. Saddle Seat Young Rider Team while South Africa sent their 2013 Junior Team and the Impondo Mining Senior Protea Team.

Duplicating their success from the first Saddle Seat Invitational of the year, the U.S. Young Riders swept the competition by winning gold in both the three- and five-gaited sections.

Fifteen riders total, riding on unfamiliar horses, took the gate on Friday starting with two segments of the three-gaited section then two of the five-gaited. After intense competition the first day, the U.S. had a comfortable lead in the three-gaited section with South African Senior Team and the Junior Team in second and third respectively.  The five-gaited section was a little closer with the U.S. still in the lead, but with the South African Senior Team close behind.

Saturday, riders switched their mounts and took the ring in both sections. After the two days of intense competition, the U.S. team's focus and commitment showed through with Gold Medals in both the three- and five-gaited sections. The South African Senior Team took home the Silver Medals and South African Junior Team the Bronze in both sections.

Riders from both countries started the week on Wednesday with the draw of order of go and horse combinations. Riders enjoyed trail rides and other activities before the official practices began that evening. After two days of practice, the competition began.

Scores for U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational events are tallied using an ordinal system with the lowest total prevailing. Below are the final scores.

Three-Gaited Section
USA-222
SA Senior-366
SA Junior-452

Five-Gaited Section
USA-272
SA Senior-329
SA Junior-419

Gold Medalist Members on the US Team are listed below:

Three-Gaited Section*
Caroline Cherry
Allison Schuh
Kristen Smith
Lila Tatar
Mary Mag Wilson

Five-Gaited Section*
McGee Bosworth
Emily Gutenkunst
William Nalty
Eleanor Rainbolt-Forbes
Marjorie Townsend

Coaches:  Mandy Martin and Barbe Smith

On-demand video of the U.S. Saddle Seat Invitational II is available on USEF Network.

Click here for more information on the US Young Rider Team.

*Young Riders Courtney McGinnis and Shelby Hader were not able to attend the event

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