Charlotte Rimaud followed the season 2015 with the latest highlight, the European championship. On her French blog she took a look into the young athletes under the seniors. Thank you for the exclusive English translation, Charlotte!
The Vaulting European Championships took place from the 20th to the 23rd of August 2015 in Aachen, Germany. The several programs, individuals or teams, were a great and very nice show. Actually, there were no entries available for the finals on Sunday. The vaulters did not deceive their public. Indeed, the atmosphere in the stands was such that it made a wonderful competition, however it meant that the pressure was even bigger for the vaulters. What we can remember from this 2015 edition of the European Championships are the young vaulters, starting at the senior level and far from being ridiculous, and for some of them, they even placed in front of well-known faces internationally.
Who are they ?
Estelle Chauvet and Théo Denis for France
Estelle, who has been vaulting in the equivalent of 3* level in France since the beginning of the year and won silver for her first National Championships at that level, was participating for the first time at a European Senior Competition. She was unlucky for her European Junior Championships last year in Hungary (She was vaulting on Sushi, like Théo this year), finishes the competition at the 15th place. Her aim for the finals was nicely completed. She imposed herself in front of the two other French female vaulters in the compulsory round. Her first freestyle helps her gain the finals alongside Manon and Anne-Sophie. Having difficulties on the technical test, it is only her first year with such difficult moves, she comes back on her second freestyle round, where she managed to endorse the role of elegance, class and beauty. Overall, Estelle made a great bet on these championships. She should use them as great experience for her future vaulting career.
Théo, who had came 4th with Sorbon in the European Junior Championships last year, dances this year with Sushi and Maud
Boussignac-Dumont. Very playful, his four-legged friend, showed his best at this game as from the start of the competition, where he could not do two compulsory moves (ndlr, flag and stand). Disgusted, he thought he could present a wonderful freestyle like he usually does and where smoothness and lightness make of him a very talented vaulter. Unfortunately, Sushi had another bad day, and Théo as well… Therefore the trio is not qualified for the finals.
Let’s not forget Manon Moutinho who will join the French seniors next year and who just won bronze in the World Junior Championships in Ermelo, Netherlands, at the beginning of the month. Will she be able to win the same next year? It is all we can wish for her.
Andrew McLachlan and Hannah Young for Great Britain
Andrew, a young Scottish who has been vaulting for a while now with the « Eccles Team » is known for his energy usually using rock’n’roll musics but also for is « insane lightness ». Lunged by his mother for a little while now, but still with « Tyke » (ndlr, Tylers Kernel), he gets through to the finals. Unfortunately, his second freestyle did not go so well because of his horse who was wondering what was happening and looking around. He still did a great competition since he also competed in squad & pdd, which is a lot for fours days of competition. Following the path of his « volti-family » orchestrated by Joanne? Why not? He already has for sure a lot of her qualities in male version. And he also has a few junior medals, not to forget!
Hannah, from the same club as Andrew, has not been vaulting in individual at an international level for a long time. She won the CVI in Saumur in 2015 in the 2* level, she then climbed up very quickly to the 3* level and through to the qualifications for the Europeans this month. She seems very calm on her horse, on her own and in team, she is a trustful vaulter. This time, she was vaulting on Bentley with Hannah Eccles and it was also her first try at this level of competitions, she unfortunately did not manage to go to the final rounds but has a great future in vaulting. We wish her the best with her new vaulting horse: Cantaro bought from the KCM Vaultinghorses.
Lisa Wild and Daniela Fritz for Austria
Lisa, who had a very bad accident during her last championships in Le Mans, France, while doing a very new move, who she is the only one to perform: a backwards somersault landing back on the horse. Absent from the competitions, at only 20 years old, she is back, and still at the top level. With a thin but muscled silhouette, like a gymnast, she once again showed what she was capable of. She has her head on her shoulders, this young Austrian lady created amazement with her somersault. Even though she did not land quite like she wanted to, she managed not to fall and break herself… This execution fault must not have taken away a lot of points since after her last freestyle, she finishes third and earns the bronze medal. A very promising comeback to competitions!
Daniela, European Champion in the junior category, she has participated at the World Equestrian Games in Caen, Normandy in September 2014, only a year ago… She is one of Austria’s elegant talents since she managed to take her ticket through to the finals of theses high quality European Masters 2015. Which is not an easy thing to do when looking back on the technical moves they have added this year. However, this technical program does not seem to scare the youngsters.
Corinna Knauf and Jannis Drewell for Germany
Corinna, alongside her horse Fabiola and her lunger/sister, Alexandra Knauf, illustrates herself for the first time at this level of the competition. Still young but already experiences internationally, she took the lead after the compulsories. Excellent compulsories, especially a mount like it is described in the guidelines for judges, and which every vaulter dreams of. She finally finishes second leaving the first place free for the 28 years old Swiss, Simone Jaiser, usually very close in the rankings to Joanne, when she still competed. Very glad of her final free test, the very serious German young lady showed us a smile, maybe the last step to the gold medal for next year!
Jannis and his mother, Simone Drewell, step up on the podium with a lot of emotion for the gold medal of the male competition. He may not have been the favorite German of theses European Championships, but he was as usual, presenting very original programs, more particularly his freestyle on the music from Kung-fu panda and it earned him well, showing his real level against his country fellows, the Brüsewitz brothers, taking the second and third place. This years male podium is 100% German, which shows a new wave of vaulters after the French champions, Jacques Ferrari and Nicolas Andréani usually winning gold these past few years.
So, here is another question: is it time for the most experienced vaulters to stop competing at the highest level?