What is the page you spent hours, days, weeks since 2004? For me and many others it is clearly Marc Schuirmann’s voltigierdvd.de. Is there anything better in the online vaulting world than this page? He does so much for the sport, that VaultingNews thanks him from all our hearts. For me in Germany and much more Celina in Brazil it was THE page of our youth. And we are not the only ones. Margaret Swearingen wants to thank Marc personally for his awesome work:
In my old room back home, I have the October 2006 edition of Practical Horseman magazine, the pages of which are worn, creased and folded from frequent reading. I have vivid memories of the 15-year-old me taking the issue out of its plastic sleeve when I first received it in the mail, flipping it to the pages that covered the results of WEG 2006, and my eyes falling on the picture of Kai Vorberg and Picasso performing the Mozart-inspired Kür that won them the gold medal for Germany. That was it for me. Something in my mind clicked instantly; I absolutely fell in love with the sport of vaulting at first sight.
Growing up with a passion for horses and riding was simple in the United States, particularly in the relatively rural part of the country where I lived. In other words, if I wanted to take riding lessons, I could go to a stable 10 minutes from my home for lessons every weekend and after school. I easily made friends who shared my interest in riding, and found many local mentors to help me achieve my goals. When I got my own horse, Jake, it was simple to find a place to board him that was close to my house, so riding and being around horses became a very valuable part of daily life for me. Unfortunately, vaulting was not extremely popular in the southeastern US at the time, so it was nowhere near as easy to find the resources I needed to pursue my love of this particular equine sport. Hardly anyone I knew had heard of it, or they thought it was the same thing as trick riding, so it was difficult to network with people who could help me get started. The closest club was two hours from my home at the time, and there were no competitions that were held close-by, so I accepted it and relied on short, sparse YouTube videos to stay connected to my new passion.
That was until I found Marc Schuirmann’s website. Voltigierclips opened an entirely new realm of the sport to me. I was no longer confined to what short vaulting clips were posted on YouTube at the time; I had an entire library of videos from competitions held all over Europe at my fingertips. I felt like I’d found treasure. I spent so many hours that summer watching the clips, learning about the sport, the vaulters on the screen turning into my idols with each Kür that I watched. I would count down the days until the next competition and Marc’s next upload of videos. My love for and knowledge of vaulting grew stronger and in a way that would have been impossible without this incredible resource, as I was able to stay involved from afar and watch vaulting evolve in real-time over the years.
Since then, I have moved a couple of times, and luckily I had the opportunity to vault while I lived in a city with a club. As much as I enjoyed it, I unfortunately had to quit due to another move for my job, though I hope to one day start again and maybe even help form a local team. Every time I mention vaulting to someone who is unfamiliar with it, I direct them to Marc’s page, and it never fails that they are as enthralled as I have been for years. I wish I could thank him in person for the gift that he has given to so many people around the world who love vaulting but are unable to participate in it due to where they live or any other circumstances in their lives that prevent it. He has certainly changed the vaulting world, and I’ll always be grateful for how he changed part of my own world as well.