This discipline combines equestrianism and gymnastics, plus there’s someone on the ground lunging!
Unfortunately no teams scored highly enough to be selected to represent Team GBR so this year there are three individuals attending. The individuals competing this year are two sisters, Hannah and Joanne Eccles, and final individual Lucy Phillips. There are also two horses and two lungers representing Great Britain this year.
What is Vaulting?
Put simply it is gymnastics on horseback! The horse is under the control of the lunger, who must lunge the horse on a minimum of a 15m circle.
The vaulter, or vaulters in a team or pairs competition, performs a series of choreographed movements that are scored out of 10. Each horse and lunger combination is scored as one competitive unit – the horse’s way of going makes up 20% of the final score – and the lunger also receives a medal.
What happens at the World Equestrian Games?
This year Team GBR will only be sending individual riders. Men and women compete separately, the only FEI discipline where this happens, and there are four tests completed over two rounds of competition.
In Round 1 vaulters compete in Compulsory and Freestyle tests. Based on the average score the top 15 vaulters will then go on to Round 2.
In Round 2 there will be a Technical test and another Freestyle test. The winner is decided by adding together the average scores from both rounds.
Pas de Duex
Hannah and Joanne Eccles will also be competing in the Pas de Deux competition which is a pairs Vaulting competition. This is the first time the Pas de Deux has been included in the World Equestrian Games.
In a Pas de Deux competition only Freestyle tests are performed and competition is spread over two days. There are two rounds and the highest placed pair go through to the second round to compete for the final titles.
Hannah Eccles: Hannah has been representing Team GBR since 2004, as an individual, as part of a team, and in a pair with her older sister Joanne. She will be performing on WH Bentley who will be lunged by her father and trainer, John Eccles.
Joanne Eccles: Joanne will also be performing on WH Bentley with her father and trainer John Eccles taking the lunge rein. She is a regular individual and team competitor having first represented Great Britain in the 1990’s.
Lucy Phillips: Lucy first began vaulting at the age of six having moved on from straight gymnastics. She has previously represented Great Britain at three other World Equestrian Games. In these Games she is performing on Pitucelli who will be lunged by her mother and trainer Liz Phillips.