Equestrian vaulters with the Debbie Bentzen team from British Columbia show off just how acrobatic they can be on a moving horse. Team canter freestyle events can have up to three people on a horse as they perform acrobatics while it moves. Here they are on horse Kingston. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Equestrian vaulters hope for world games

Vaulters headed to Ponoka for the equestrian vaulters nationals

Some of the best equestrian vaulters in Canada competed at the Calnash Ag Event Centre for the 2018 Canadian Nationals.

Those vaulters are vying for a spot at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in September in North Carolina and a solid performance in Ponoka would help them get to that spot, explained Diane Boyd, Alberta Equestrian Vaulting Association’s chairperson.

The sport of equestrian vaulting is quite similar to gymnastics vaulting, but with the added element of performing on a moving horse.

“They can compete at the following four gaits: walk, trot and canter individually, pairs and teams (one to three people on the horse at a time),” said Boyd.

The sport is about balance, sportsmanship, camaraderie and responsibility, she explained. Typically vaulters perform on a horse that runs in a circle with a person guiding the animal.

For those hoping to make it to worlds, there are two Alberta teams in in contention to represent Canada plus there is an individual female and individual male who have qualified to represent Canada.

There were also vaulters from British Columbia and Saskatchewan at nationals. Full results were not available at press time.

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