Friday, January 15, 2010

Head over hoofs about vaulting

NICOLE Stapleton and Nicole Collett travelled to Germany last year for horse vaulting and now have their eyes set on the United States.
The two are spending one weekend a month training in Canberra with an elite squad in preparation for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in October, with practice increasing in the lead-up to competition. Germany is at the top of the horse vaulting world. It is the country the rest of the world looks up to.
The aim of the elite squad is to cull its members down from 18 to 10 and attempt to qualify for this year’s games.
This will be the first time Australia has sent a team for vaulting because it’s the first time the country has had the calibre of riders to go up against the rest of the world.
There are less than 15 vaulting clubs in Australia, with Oakville-based Stapleton and Collett major hopes for the games.
“Vaulting is my passion,” Stapleton said. “At first it was a bit of fun combining horseriding and gymnastics.
“Now I have a dream to go overseas to train and compete.”
The duo is training with Sydney Vaulting Group and Hawkesbury Vaulting Club.
The next big event is the state championships in April at Horseworld Maraylya.
Vaulting is a competitive discipline where gymnastic and dance elements are combined and performed to music on a cantering horse.
* HORSE mad? Combine horse riding with the grace of dancing, strength of gymnastics and love of music.
Vaulting is gymnastics on horseback and participants don’t have to own a horse to learn the fine art.
Children as young as six begin by learning basic gymnastic skills on the mat and barrel.
Then they put their skills to the test on a slow horse.
As their skill and confidence improves, the horse progresses to a canter.
Hawkesbury Vaulting Club will be holding a twilight open session where visitors can see a variety of demonstrations, including one by a 2010 World Equestrian Games hopeful.
There will also be opportunities for visitors to try some basic skills on the barrels, as well as face painting, barbecue and stalls. Details: 0407949826 or 45765208.
It will be held on Saturday, January 30, from 3pm to 6pm at Kinlew Equestrian Centre, 477 Sackville Rd, Ebenezer.
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1 comment:

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