Christ Church Junior McGee Bosworth Named to Saddle Seat World Cup Team

Christ Church junior McGee Bosworth was recently added to the US team to compete in the Saddle Seat World Cup. This competition takes place bi-annually, the location rotating between the United States and South Africa.
The Saddle Seat World Cup is the equivalent of the Olympics for the riding world, but it is not considered an Olympic sport because it is not scored based on speed or another measurable basis. Instead riders are ranked by the judges decision of who rode with the best technique and was able to catch their eye.
Because this is such a selective process, the US only accepts the best of the best for their team. Contenders for the team send in a video to the coaches of the team and then a select few are invited to a live audition. At the live tryout, riders have 5 minutes to impress the coaches with their skills.
A team of 12 is then chosen to participate in the World Cup. The team meets together to practice and get to know each other in February and May in New Orleans, where the coaches barn is located. When they are not together, riders continue to prepare by themselves until the competition in July.
The USEF describes the competition, “The event features amateur athletes 14 years of age and older who compete for individual scores which ultimately accumulate toward a total team score. The athletes compete on horses that are supplied by the host competition and horses they are not familiar with which is a true test of their riding skills. The competition consists of four segments, to be completed in two phases held on different days: rail work where the athletes compete as a group, and then in individual workouts.” (
McGee has been riding ever since she was three, and began showing horses when she was five. She continually badgered her parents to get involved with these animals, and immediately fell in love. This eventually grew into a life at the barn with her horses, with time dedicated to caring for them and preparing for competitions.
The connection that is grown between the horse and the rider is a very important to Saddle Seat competitions. McGee’s favorite part of riding is when she finally makes the connection with a horse, when she figures them out. This moment is very important in competing because in riding, “You are a team with an animal, not another person.”
Over the years, McGee has achieved great status in the riding world and has won multiple awards in competitions. Throughout these competitions she has been able to grow as a rider and gain many memorable experiences. One of her most memorable experiences was at a horse show in November, which was the last stage of the Saddle Seat equivalent to the Triple Crown. This competition was one of the most well known and talented riders in the category. Because she was almost out of the junior exhibitor age group, this was her last competition, and everyone was expecting her to win. During warm ups, where riders are given 7 minutes to get to know their horse, the horse McGee had been paired with proved to be very difficult to ride. With much perseverance and skill, McGee was able to pull through and win the competition, beating the girl who was favored to win.
Out of all her accomplishments, the one she is most proud of is making the World Cup team. This is something she has always wanted to do, even as a young rider. Because there is no Olympic team for Saddle Seat, this is the highest merit that a junior exhibitor rider can achieve. While on the World Cup team, she is no longer only representing herself, but rather her country, which creates a feeling of unity and increases the desire to win and represent her country.
America typically does very well in this competition so the stakes are very high for the team. This is the first time for everyone on the team to compete in the World Cup, so there is a lot of pressure to see how this young team will perform. The most prestigious people in the riding world will be present at the competition in July, and it is the perfect way to get McGee’s name out in the riding world.
After the Saddle Seat World Cup, McGee plans to continue riding and competing. She hopes to go to college near her barn in North Carolina so that she stay close to her horses and maybe compete in college. After she is done competing she is not sure what she really wants to do, but she knows that she will definitely continue riding and spending time with her horses.