Australia is hosting two international equestrian vaulting events in March and April and with entries now in for both events, the organisers couldn’t be more pleased with the level of interest shown in the Australian Southern Cross Vaulting Series.
The first event The Great Southern CVI is being held 31st March – 2nd April in Mallala SA and will see the same set of judges as the second event, The Southern Cross CVI being held 7 – 9th April at Mount Hunter NSW. Rob de Bruin and Cynthia Danvers (pictured) from the Netherlands will be assisted by Australian Judges Angie Deeks, Darryn Fedricks and Nina Fritzell.
South Australia has been conducting CVIs every year since 2013, and last year ran their CVI3* in combination with the National Championships. NSW’s last CVI was in 2014 when the Southern Highlands Vaulting Team took the plunge and ran their Christmas Competition in conjunction with a CVI2*.
According to Gail Beattie, Chair of the National Vaulting Committee, “Australia has many keen vaulters wishing to gain advancement on the international pathway, and being able to do this on their own horses is not only economical but helps them gain an understanding of the process before entering the international arena in a foreign country”. Vaulters need to qualify at each level of the CVIs rating from 1 star to 3 stars. FEI introduced a Children’s category to compliment the existing Junior and Senior classes, providing an opportunity for our youth to gain exposure to the international system.
With over 1500 kms between the two events, we are excited that 8 competitors have decided to do both events and 14 Of the 16 vaulters on the EA High Performance Junior and Senior squads will be competing in at least one of the CVIs. One competitor making the most of the two CVIs in Australia is Dianne Ter Meulen, from the Netherlands, who will be competing in both CVI3* events, providing her with two opportunities to qualify for the 2018 World Equestrian Games.
Whilst some of the competitors are specifically wanting to qualify for the Junior Worlds being held in Austria later this year or for the 2018 WEG being held in USA next year, many of the competitors just want to gain their qualifying scores to the next level, enabling them to potentially realize their goals to one day represent Australia on the world platform.
The costs of an FEI event are greater to run due to international airfares and FEI fees. So to help keep these costs to a minimum the Organising Committees of the Southern Cross Vaulting Series worked together to set dates and share the judges across the country. Every vaulter that has to go overseas to experience international competition usually spends in excess of $5000. Whilst all higher level vaulters are encouraged to gain overseas experience, being able to do some of the events on home soil with their own horse and lunger invests in the future of our sport. Regular CVI’s in Australia will help develop our judges and vaulters and in turn grow the base of our sport and ultimately is most financially beneficial for the Australian vaulting community.
Zac Singlehurst (pictured) is no stranger to international competition. Zac represented Australia in Individuals at the 2014 WEG in France and has competed in many CVIs abroad. “One of the difficulties of competing in a foreign country is when the lunger of the horse you are on doesn’t speak the same language. Having an understanding of how a CVI runs and experience on competing on other horses is really important, so having vaulters travelling interstate in Australia is a great way to gain this experience without all the added pressures.”
There will be a Judges clinic prior to the CVI in NSW with a view to help more judges become FEI accredited and inspire some of our athletes to make the transition to judging. Not only does the knowledge gained help their own development as vaulters, it will also enable them to stay involved in the sport long after their athletic careers.
According to Sarah Jones, the Chief Steward for both events, “our Officials and volunteers are keen to see our vaulters progress, and whilst it is a lot of work to organize and conduct these events we are all doing it to give our vaulters the best possible opportunities. Unlike other disciplines vaulting does not have financial backing, so each vaulter has to make their own way. The more we can do collectively for the vaulters the better”.
The Great Southern CVI SA organisers would like to thank Bonnetts Saddleworld for their support, whilst the organisers of the Southern Cross CVI, Mount Hunter NSW are extremely grateful to their major sponsors: Kohnke’s Own Equine Nutritional Supplements, Cotswold Furniture, Fer-Aim Contracting, Camden Valley Inn and Blue Poppy Dental. Vaulting NSW has provided additional financial support and without these sponsors and supporters these events could not run. The ultimate winners are the vaulters who gain valuable experience and our vaulting community will share the many benefits from hosting international events.
We look forward to sharing our fun and friendly atmosphere at each event, and would encourage anyone who has a love of horses, dance and gymnastics to come and watch some of the countries top vaulters in action.
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