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Vaulting in Russia: An extraordinary example of team spirit

Unfortunately, the Russian team wasn’t very lucky at last year’s FEI European Championships in Austria. They had problems getting visas to enter the EU and finally decided to compete with 5 instead of 6 vaulters. And if that wasn’t enough, they had troubles with their horse and couldn’t perform their freestyle rounds. However, the past is gone and now they are looking forward to the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018!Read More

Vaulting in Mexico: One Vaulter with one dream

We have talked to Alejandra Orozco, the first and so far only Mexican to compete at international vaulting competitions and hopefully at the World Equestrian Games 2018 in Tryon. As one of the pioneers in equestrian vaulting in Mexico she is doing a great job promoting our beautiful discipline in Latin America and around the whole world. Read on to learn more about her challenges:Read More

Vaulting in Canada: Canada Cup CVI is around the corner!

Next weekend we will have the Canada Cup CVI (from 24th to 27th of May 2018). So we have talked to Charlene Kostecki, the Chair of Vault Canada and Chef d’Equippe of the Canadian National Team. She gave us some insights on the development of vaulting in Canada, their plans and goals for WEG 2018: to send an almost a full complement of vaulters to WEG!

Vaulting in Canada has steadily grown in popularity, over the last few years and there has been a significant increase in vaulting at all levels. There are more clubs starting up, and an increase in the recreational and grass roots side of vaulting. There has also been a steady increase in Canadian vaulters entering CVI’s and Charlene expects to send almost a full complement of vaulters to WEG this year.

West Coast Vaulters

The National Team has not been formed yet as the cut off date for scores is in August. In North America there are only 3 CVI’s this year for Canadian vaulters to achieve qualifying scores. In Canada there are currently 4 female Individuals, 1 male Individual, 4 PDD and 3 Squads all vying for selection to the National Team.

Charlene Kostecki is the Chef d’Equippe for the National Team and involved with all the athletes who have declared:

“Our Vaulters will be attending CVI’s and Selection Trials to attain their top two scores for submission. Our goal this season is to send our best athletes to WEG and to send 3 females, 1 male , 2 PDD and a Squad.  We are feeling very hopeful that we can do this, and that they will represent us well.”

Vaulting is primarily in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and there are approximately 30 active clubs in Canada at the moment.

There are National and Provincial Competitions every year and typically they have 80-100 entries from Fundamentals, Walk, Trot and Canter.

This year, 33 athletes/coaches/lungers participated in the Pacific Cup CVI this year and they expect to send a similar number to Rocky Mountain CVI and have 45 Canadians entered in the Canada Cup CVI.

For Canada Cup CVI the following WEG declared athletes will be competing for scores and selection attending:

AB Elite Squad

Todd Griffiths

Gracie Griffiths

Shaina Hammond

Cassidy Johannesson

Talmage Conrad

Megan Leeper

West Coast Squad

Jessica Bentzen

Korynn Weber

Alisa Schmidt

Amanda Stevenson

Alexandra Ballance

Jaydee Fluet

PDD

Alisa Schmidt & Cassie Sponchia

Jeanine van der Sluijs & Dallyn Sheilds

Korynn Weber & Kate Thomas

Individuals

Jeanine van der Sluijs

Jessica Bentzen

Alisa Schmidt

Todd Griffiths

Jeanine van der Sluijs and Dallen Sheilds (Pas-de-Deux)

The Provinces regularly bring in European and USA clinicians for their clubs, typically as a joint venture to help with costs. Some clubs with squads have chosen a specific clinician to help them on an ongoing basis. Joanne Eccles has worked with clubs in BC, and Alberta and is currently working as the coach for the Meadow Creek Squad that is vying for WEG selection.

In British Columbia a company sells vaulting supplies and there is one in California, too. These are the main sources for tack and supplies.

The best thing about vaulting in Canada is the team spirit and comradery. It’s a relatively small community, which means everyone at the upper levels knows each other and they are always supportive and caring towards each other.

“Canadian vaulters work together to help each other out and I am proud of their ability to put the development of vaulting first. Myself and the entire Vault Canada Sport Committee is proud of all of our athletes and their commitment to the sport and each other.”

Vaulting in Denmark: Motivating vaulters by creating new challenges

Vaulting in Denmark has been facing a slight decline in the last years, but they seem to be back on track again and the numbers of both vaulting clubs and international competitors have increased.

There are around 15 clubs with 500 vaulters in the whole country. The focus of the development of vaulting lies in getting hidden and upcoming talents to big competitions by motivating them.

Therefore, the Barrel Cup was introduced. The challenge in Denmark is that it is too cold for competitions between September and April, so earlier there was no vaulting activity during those months. This made many lose their motivation as they did not have any competitions to prepare for, while they were freezing in the cold riding halls.

So many clubs lost a lot of members during winter. With the Barrel Cup they introduced a new type of competitions in heated gymnasiums on barrels, with multiple competitions during the winter where the vaulters collected points to qualify for the big final in the famous amusement park Tivoli-garden in central Copenhagen. The barrel Cup made it a lot easier for the vaulters to keep the motivation as they had multiple competitions to prepare for, and the young vaulters who normally didn’t have any chance to participate in competitions on the horse now had something to train for.

Photo: KJMP – Kasper Jørgensen

There were around 200 vaulters competing at the Barrel Cup Final last Sunday and the entire event has been streamed live. You can watch a video here.

This is the final of the barrel-season composed out of 5 national competitions, plus this big final.

Photo: Sanne Lindqvist

Regarding competitions on the horse, Denmark is currently on a low stride with only 3 national competitions. They hope to see an increase in the next months in order to end up with 5. In the past there were some international competitions, but there haven’t been any since 2014.

However, Denmark aims to be represented by Sheena Bendixen at the FEI World Equestrian Games 2018, who has already qualified. They would love to send one of their teams as well, but as vaulting is a small sport in Denmark, there is no money to send more than one vaulter.

Apart from the financial problems, one of their biggest challenges is to get enough hands to volunteer. People in the federation and clubs have a lot of good ideas, but they need people to realise them.

A few years ago, Rikke Laumann, who was in the international vaulting elite and won the gold medal at the European Championships 2013 and many other international titles, has been doing an impressive job training a lot of Danish vaulters and supporting the sport. Additionally, some clubs often invite trainers from Germany and Austria to come to Denmark.

“In Denmark there is a very good cooperation between the clubs, so when one club gets a session with a good trainer, they use to offer teams from other clubs to join the session. This also applies to competitions where horses, trainers and lungers are shared, if one club is in need for a little help.”

Unlike other countries, they don’t have problems getting adequate vaulting material in Denmark thanks to Lasse Kristensen and his vaulting shop and Thomas Lindqvist who also owns a vaulting shop delivering to Nordic countries: “Lindqvist Voltige”.

Vaulting in Poland: Sometimes it needs a step back to move forward

Vaulting in Poland had its strong moments during the 80s and 90s winning medals at important international championships. Unfortunately, they have had some struggles since then. Now it seems as if they are back on track, thanks to national judges, trainers and lungers with lots of motivation, but also thanks to external help from internationally experienced vaulters bringing their knowledge into the country.Read More

Vaulting in Iran: A step to spread in Asia?

Vaulting in Iran started earlier than most of you have probably thought, it stretches back to Achaemenian Empire or even before that time. Iranians continued to perform some actions on cantering horses showing different movements as for example jumps, scissors, mill, different swings, stand, etc. Read More