Recap: CVI Ermelo, Netherlands

I spent most of the weekend in front of the laptop to watch the stream from the CVI Ermelo like many others. I now understand people from the other side of the world. It must be really complicated to watch a stream with this time difference. That’s why I choose The Netherlands & not Adelaide, Australia, where the second CVI took place this weekend. So, this is my excuse for that.

On Friday, there were interesting discussions in the chat next to the stream (I won’t comment the next days.). It reminds me, that I want to mention here, VaultingNews is a blog which displays the opinion of the author (like every media) & the following is my impression of the weekend. Every other opinions are welcome as well. Just send us your text (German or English).

From the German point of view the event totally kept its promise. The three-way fight of the senior squads on the top was awesome. The compulsories decided a lot, but by far not everything. Neuss showed a very difficult freestyle on their mare Delia who improved, according to the scores, a lot from day to day. From my couch the circle didn’t look very round but there was not one jiggle on top. I guess the training on the Movie is helping a lot.

Fredenbeck had a totally different approach. They showed a routine where I had to lough out loud several time during both rounds. When was vaulting so entertaining the last time? They won the first freestyle with their horse Wizaro scoring between the other two. They finished 0,09 infront of Neuss. For me the masters of music interpretation this weekend.

And then we had Köln. It seems to be the season of jungle themes. With their modern Lion’s King outfits they had many new ideas for the basis of triples. I missed the interpretation of the music but I guess this will come later during the season. The horse Danny Boy lunged by Swiss Patrick Looser was honored as best horse of the event. That’s something you can build on. (Edit 25.04.2016:) Second in this category Best individual horse became Watriano R who cantered for Clement Taillez .

That’s how the podium could have looked like. Köln – Fredenbeck – Neuss. It didn’t. I couldn’t find it in the official FEI rules but I think I read it somewhere: A given percentage of individuals, pdd or squads succeeds to the final. In this CVI*** squads test 4 out of 8 made were allowed to compete in the second round, which would mean 50%. And I guess there is also the rule that only a given number of competitors gets honored during the price giving ceremony. In this case it might also be 50% because the third space on the podium remained empty, Neuss got no ribbon. If my assumptions are right, this is a rule by the FEI & not from the organizers.

We were discussing this a lot today I was going from against to pro. So here are some rough thoughts:

  • It looks totally strange when you have enough competitors to fill the podium but leave it empty. How do you explain the picture in the newspaper to non vaulters?
  • I don’t think it is motivating for vaulters who fighted a lot for their scores but don’t get honored.
  • I watched the whole final price giving ceremony. It lasted over 40 minutes! I agree that this is to long. But is it shorter when they honor 8 female individuals, only 2 squads & 1 pas de deux?
  • To let only 50% compete in the second round might be a time saver for a really packed weekend. But is it really useful to let one CVI** squad compete instead of 2? Then the decision was already made after the first freestyle.

Enough of that, we will ivestigate and clarify in the coming days. We can’t change the rules. It is like it is & I accept it when we all play by the rules.

The fourth 3-star squad was Ecuries de la Cigogne. Their horse is in its first vaulting season, with only the third or fourth competition. The whole team did a very good job. The vaulters change the freestyle from competition to competition always respecting the standard of education of Ultrachic & always vaulting with the horse. None seemed angry when Ultrachic fell into trot. Very nice. There were also vaulters in this competition who did not seem to be one with their partner horse.

The squad from the Netherlands “Roy Rogers” kept the Cinderella theme from last year but has a more dynamic routine. I liked it. Oh, also a theme which was chosen several times are astronauts. The Danish team had it for instance. They had such a small team member that they had to carry her on the shoulders & lift her from there on the horse during comps.


During the last years we saw that the transition from juniors to seniors is not that easy. Except for Lambert Leclezio (Mauritius). His choice to train in France with Compagnie Noroc seems just perfect. After the compulsory he was third but with every round he gained ground & finished on top of the podium. Congratulations.

Jannis Drewell (Germany) was really strong in comps. Scored in the exercises much higher than second Clement Taillez. But the tech test as pirate wasn’t as good as Lambert’s. From the new freestyle where he appears as Sherlock Holmes I was very impressed. How dynamic! How many new ideas! How cool. The tech test wasn’t for Clement Taillez. He ended up on the last rank. Daniel Kaiser showed a nice freestyle as Houdini.

Oh my gosh, what can I say? Janika Derks, is in her first individual season after she left the squad from Neuss. And she just won all 3 rounds. The freestyle reminded of Mathias Lang or Jacques Ferrari. In a colorful outfit she interpreted a clown with a lot of power and artistry. Her former team member Pauline Riedl was in her first 3-star event Showing a compulsory for rank nine (during her mount her shoulder touched the horses neck), a tech test for rank 7 & a freesytle in a barely golden but more skin-colored outfit for rank 5, all in all rank 6.

Another German was Sarah Kay. Leaving the arena on place five. She was really secure on her horse, showed a very difficult freestyle & all that after many, many injuries. Welcome back! Lucy Phillips was steady as ever finishing second. That leaves us with the question who made it on the podium as well. It was not Corinna Knauf, she is fourth. It is a name we heard before: Sheena Bendixen from Denmark! With Lasse Kristensen on the lunge she had the second best compulsory & tech test but only sixth freestyle. It was a great surprise to see her in front.

Do you know the dismount by Isabel Fiala? She stands on the horse, jumps into handstand and goes down. I regocgnized this one a few times & always though, that it isn’t simple. And then comes Corinna Kanuf doing this thing backwards. Holy moly. Standing totaly secure backwards, jumping into handstand & landing on the belly. Awesome! She was really happy after all jumps went well.

(Edit 25.04.2016:) Ok, I found now the time to watch Pauline Riedl’s tech test. I really recommend to watch it. For me as a non-judge the technical exercises look not good but her movements to the bouncing music, the playing with ball, very cool to watch!


The junior females were dominated from Germany. The male competition was also won by Germany, from Konstantin Naser. Spain was represented by the Fraser sisters. In the 1* pdd competition Jonna Hohbach & Jule Schmolke won. It was nice to see, that the flyers from the top squads vault very independently.

The most impressive team for me was Harlekin (Switzerland). We all remember the perfect freestyles from Simone Jäiser. You definitely see her fingerprint in the junior squad. Cool ideas to interpret the music, very dynamic & creative. Nice one. Tösstal won with their Pippi Longstocking theme. They had all characters: a double Pippi, Thommy, Annika, the police man, Mr Nilsson & of course “the little old man”. The presented more triples than the others & a cool triple split. A valter from Lütisburg was helping out in the team.

Adele Feuerstein

I am Adele Feuerstein the founder of the blog. I used to vault & train teams in Germany. Now I am only an observer & love to share my knowledge about international vaulting with you.