2019 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 6th PLACE
All the hard work paid off for the New Zealand Vaulting Team and support crew – we placed 6th best junior squad in the World!
But how did we get there? Read our journey below…
2014: WORLD EQUESTRIAN GAMES: 9th PLACE
In 2014, we took a team to the World Equestrian Games in France where we placed 9th in the world: a huge accomplishment!
We were the first ever New Zealand vaulting team to compete in the World Games. We are immensely proud of all the hard work by all involved: coaches, vaulters, managers, overseas hosts, supporters, donors, and parents backing their kids all the way. It literally takes a village to get this done. And these girls were the role models and big sisters of the younger vaulters at the club, who knew that anything was possible!
2015-2018: FIND A NEW TEAM HORSE & COACHES
It took awhile to find a good team horse, but Soleil with the help of Zeek have been our heroes for the last few years. Club Manager Cat and coach Verena were later joined by German vaulters Cobi and Maribel, to help get the team together and competition-ready.
2018 AUGUST: THE TEAM
The coaches selected a team of eight vaulters (read more about them here) and together with the team’s families we started fundraising a whopping $150,000 for this enormous adventure, and helped plan the trip.
2018 SEPT: FUNDRAISING STARTS
Unfortunately we couldn’t take our horses to Europe, so we needed to spend about 5/6 weeks in Germany to train with a new horse and build that trust to perform our moves safely.
The flights and accommodation for the long trip, together with horse hire, uniforms, transport and training expenses, cost the team nearly $150K, for which we madly fundraised since September 2018!
A massive team effort from all the vaulters, families, coaches and supporters, helped us with:
- Farm working bees
- Art show
- Bingo night
- Movies nights
- Car washes
- Charity concert
- Horsetail paintings
- Garage sale
- Sausage sizzles
- and grants/donations
We’re super grateful for Mills Albert Ltd for becoming our team’s main sponsor.
2018 OCT: COMPETITION EXPERIENCE
To get prepared, half the team competed in the Australian National Vaulting Championships in Sydney, to get used to the pressure and the rules. Since there are no official CVIs in NZ, we had to cross the border.
We’ve been fortunate with coverage on TV1’s Newshub Late, Coast Access Radio, Beach FM radio, TV2’s What Now, and articles in the Kapiti Observer, Kapiti News, and on Facebook pages from ESNZ, ShowCircuit, and many more.
Check out our interview with Newshub Late
Next to school/college/work and fundraising every weekend, the girls and coaches increased the training to up to 8 sessions a week:
- 5 x club training (horse, barrel, strength, run)
- 2 x 6.30 am gym training at the Achievement Room
- 1 x run through the forest up the hill
We’re seeing growing muscles, lots of taped body parts and plenty of bruises, but things are starting to come together!
LOOKING THE PART
Thanks to major sponsor Mills Albert Ltd, we were able to get the team some groovy uniforms so we looked professional wherever we went in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands.
Our long-term club supporters from Dunstan Horse Feeds and The Achievement Room donated us some training singlets so we could train in style.
Our German coach Maribel design our freestyle uniforms, and we were amazed by how well her design drawings were interpreted by the makers. We received so many compliments on them!
On 10 June 2019, we left New Zealand, flew to Germany where we trained with the teams at Pegasus Muhlacker for a couple of weeks.
We competed at the CVI in Flyinge, our first competition as a team, and our super reserves Jasmyn and Teagan did individuals.
We trained every day: went for runs, did barrel training (on a static barrel, as well as on the Movie moving barrels with Anja Traub), performance training, stretching and yoga and general fitness. All to prepare us for the horse training on the Pegasus Muhlacker horses as well as our world champ horse Humphrey Bogart OLD from Team Nordheim. We have been so lucky and grateful to be able to train and perform on this graceful horse – we owe Anne, Christina and Andrea so much for this amazing experience!
We stayed with Verena’s mum Karen and sister Ina, which felt just like home. Very special times…before all heading to the Netherlands late July.
The pressure and the temperature rose – it was about 35 degrees that week. All the competitors from 24 countries stayed together, and ate together. The 117 horses were all stabled together and there was an amazing atmosphere between the teams.
Our compulsory test was a bit shaky – we placed 10th after the first day.
But then we pulled everything together – a big year of hard work – and performed our freestyle. We were over the moon with our 6th place!
In the finals, we had the 5th best freestyle, and ended up with an overal ranking of 6th place in the World Champs. An amazing result from the vaulting underdogs.
We were so lucky and happy to have so many of our parents and supporters cheering us on, in the arena in the Netherlands, as well as on livestream at home. We felt the love, and just couldn’t get over the heartwarming messages on Facebook and Instagram.
It has been an experience that has helped all of us grow stronger, more resilient and more confident as young women, and we look forward to sharing our skills with our younger vaulting members and in our other endeavours in life. Your support will always be remembered, as this was a unique experience we will never forget!