Sports

‘Vaulting is like dancing on horseback’

Horse vaulters gathered at the Nelson and District Riding Club in Blewett for the Kutenai Summer Fest on Saturday. Pictured: Koot-Neigh Vaulting Club in May.  - Courtesy of Nelson and District Riding Club
Horse vaulters gathered at the Nelson and District Riding Club in Blewett for the Kutenai Summer Fest on Saturday. Pictured: Koot-Neigh Vaulting Club in May.
— image credit: Courtesy of Nelson and District Riding Club

Horse vaulters gathered at the Nelson and District Riding Club in Blewett for the Kutenai Summer Fest on Saturday. The morning rain did not deter the young vaulters. Imagine a dancer or gymnast doing a dance routine but on a moving horse back, complete with poised limbs. That's vaulting.

 

What compelled these vaulters to perform acrobatics on horse back?

Elisse Southam, 11 turning 12,  said it’s like dancing but with a horse, plus it’s the teamwork with others that she likes.

For 12-year-old Gwen McCrory it’s working with the horses. She has been riding since she was two years old. Caitlyn Johnson, 12, from Thrumbs has been vaulting for three years and said, “I love how you’re doing different stuff on a horse, not just riding it.”

Naomi Lee, 11, said she likes everything about vaulting but there are differences with the horses. The Koot-Neigh team vaults with club director Naomi Weber’s three horses Quinn, Tessa and Azrael.

The girls explained the horses like the vaulters too but if there is thunder, it can spook the horses. Even though it was rainy and wet in the morning they said it was not a problem as when they are on the horses they are away from the mud. Plus they wear shoes with special grips on the soles.

The rest of their team uniforms include a regime similar to dancers and gymnasts. They must wear their hair in a bun with a scrunchy or if they wear a unitard, a hairpin may be used instead.

Koot-Neigh and Mountain Wind teams performed their compulsory rounds on the barrel for  judge Colin Schmidt to their music selection.

In the afternoon, the freestyle evens saw the vaulters mount the horses for a lofty show.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Riders prep for track nationals with workouts at Colwood velodrome
 
Vancouver Canucks back on rise after down season
 
Preview: Vancouver Canucks face Brodeur - or Schneider - in New Jersey
Successive Soccer Successes for Sooke
 
Spartans fall flat in last game of the season
 
Injury forces Bulldog to retire
Badminton awards netted out in Alberni
 
Alberni tops at badminton North Islands
 
Canada’s best golfers coming to QB