Today it is just one week until the opening ceremony of the Junior World Championships. We talked to lungers of a club that is just a 2.5 hours drive to the competition venue. They are Germans but have no vaulters participating in the competition. Still Alexandra Knauf & Ines Nawroth will stand six times in the arena.
Köln-Dünnwald, Germany, & the Grün family rented 3 horses to the squads, individuals & pas de deux of South Africa & Australia plus Viki Dlamini from Swaziland who has been vaulting for just 6 months in canter. To be safe they will also take 2 reserve horses to Ermelo. To use that many horses out of 11 is only possible because the whole club has holidays & only a few vaulters train during this period. To host all these guests from diffrent countries takes a lot of time & work but in Cologne everyone helps & supports each other as much as they can.
The training of the vaulters stays with the home coaches. Ines & Alex are “just” lungeing the horses Flash Back, Warrel & United. It takes a while until the vaulters & horses get used to each other, but after 2 or 3 lessons they are good.
The club is used to rent horses, but is it different to have juniors instead of seniors as guests? Alexandra Knauf: “I think it is more difficult to train juniors, because they don’t have that much experience & aren’t stable with their performance, yet. On the other hand juniors achieve progress faster & one can shape them better than seniors. That’s why I think they can adapt to the new horses fast.”
The former vaulter Bamdad Memarian was in South Africa, Mauritus & Australia to enhance & popularize vaulting there. So it was easy for the nations to find horses through him. Alex & Ines were in, because they didn’t want to miss the event of the Junior World Championships plus it is nice to give these vaulters the opportunity to take part. All that is exhausting (Alex lunges up to 6 horses a day). But also it is great for them to meet all the new vaulters who give back so much. “That’s only possible in our sport. It is something really particular & has a special spirit.”