We were all so amazed by this World Championship for Juniors during the last days. All these awesome horses, vaulters, squads, freestyles, compulsories, coaches, lungers & organizers made us speechless. We were all stucked to the stream or the live scoring. But now it is time for a recap. Let’s sort our observations.
COMBINATION OF 2 COMPETITIONS
At this weekend there was also the CVI***. That was really nice for the spectators, because there was more variety in the tests. Furthermore the clubs had the chance to take part in both so the seniors used this weekend for a last European championship test. The days weren’t too full. The next two years both championships, senior & junior will take place together. 2016 it will be Le Mans & in 2017 the organizer is Stadl Paura.
First we heard that there wouldn’t be a livestream, than it was said, there would be one for the first days. In the end the FEI & Marc Schuirmann provided us a full livestream from the first compulsory until the last freestyle. It was a championship with 20 nations who did everything to take part. But not everyone could fly to the Netherlands. Thanks to FEI the world was able to follow the whole action. Thank you!
It seemed like there were many falls. Nicole Kribisch & Tessa Divita touched the ground after their dismount. Two of the top three squads had an empty horse, a small flyer had trouble with the dismount & came under the horse. Gregor Klehe missed the horse after his jump & fell headfirst to the ground. Also in the senior CVI in the same arena we saw two falls by Lucy Phillips. A possible explanation for the squads would be that they try to add (difficult) dynamic triples, because they aren’t allowed to show more than 6 static. Another point might be the technical score for individuals. Or maybe juniors are more excited, we have to take in mind, that for most of them it was the first big interational competition.
The horse score became very important after the new judging system. Before that some horses didn’t look good. This time all the horses were so well trained & very relieable. If we just take a look into the squads competition we see, that the average score in the compulsory was 7,103 which is a great achievement for the sport! In the second freestyle the horses had some problems with the exercises.
HELP FROM THE VAULTING FAMILY
All horses from the not European nations were borrowed from countries like Germany or Denmark. That was the only chance to take part for them. It strengthed the vaulting faily. Furthermore coaches flew out to the world to prepare the vaulters: Juan Martin Clavijo trained with Jacques Ferrari, Lambert Leclezio in the Netherlands & with Bamdad Memarian, Bamdad also helped in australia together with Alli Davita, the USA worked with the club from Gilching & Lasse Kristensen & Ecuador had their base for the summer in Spain with Ararat Martin.
Surfing the Internet makes me feel like the Vaulting Family moved closer together during this event. Normally German vaulters just wrote in German on Facebook. But isn’t it important that the biggest (number of vaulters) vaulting nation shares their experience with the world? During the last days I saw posts by Kristina Boe, Alexandra Knauf & Club43 (Austria) who posted in English. If the sport grows but we don’t want to loose this nice family we should agree on one languange. English might be the easier for all. (Although german was the official language for the little chat on youtube during the live stream).
Most of the freestyles of the juniors had a particular theme. While this trend is changing in the senior competition we saw “The Beauty & the Beast”, Clinic Clowns, “The Wizard of Oz”, “Annie”, “Rockebilly”, tiger, war & peace, Sherlock Holmes, a baseball player & so on. Vaulting has developed to a much more theatrical discipline. The music & interpretation became much more important. The creativity in the squads was amazing, new transitions & combinations made watching fascinating.
While introducing some competitiors to you before the event I learned a lot about this planet. I mean, did you know the history & political system of Swaziland? Ok, back to the topic, there were 20 nations from Europe, Africa, America (southern and northen), Oceania (Australia) and Asia (if we count Russia as an asian country). Isn’t that amazing? Furthermore on top of this, there were gold medal winners from three continents. Suddenly the sport is growing so fast!
FIRST JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP
In the past, until 2004, team vaulting was just for juniors. Yes, you hear that right. In squads only athletes up to 18 years were allowed, so senior vaulters could only do individuals. Then they opened it for everyone and older athletes were allowed together with the younger ones on a team which changed a lot of what we understand as vaulting today.
In Europe they recognized that the young vaulters have no chance against the more experienced teams anymore, so they created the jr competitions, but outside Europe it’s still very hard to have fully jr teams and most countries still don’t have the jr category, unlike Germany where the jr championships are as big as the sr ones. So this competition was a huge opportunity for nations to create jr teams and start working on it.
8 MONTHS OF PREPARATION
When we did our little introductions we learned that many countries put together the teams just for this event. Australia, South Africa, the Netherlands & Ecuador had just 8 months to become a team. What all these groups showed in the arena was amazing. I can’t imagine what they will show in two years at the next junior world championship. Was that the great kick-off?