Last year Australia had several representatives at the Junior World Championships. It was an enormous effort. This year, they send two senior individuals to Le Mans. Both are training in Europe in preparation for the championship. James Hocking is in Denmark, Sarah Grayson in Scotland. Since June 20th of this year she has been training with Jeanine van der Sluijs from Canada, the whole Eccles family (John, Hannah and Joanne) and their club Wee County Vaulters.
She didn’t come to Europe to get her qualifying scores. That wouldn’t have been possible financially. Many vaulters from Australia tried to reach the qualifying score at their home CVI in Adelaide with her coach Lyn Lynch and the horse Kingston Legato. The Australian vaulters had only one chance to qualify for the worlds. The two individuals were successful. Sarah was happy to have another test at the CVI Rugby (England) which was just one week after her arrival. Besides the training sessions with Sydney Vaulting Group at home Sarah was also vaulting on Hannah Dodd’s dressage horse Grand Sam which gave her the opportunity to be on the horse nearly every day. The training on the horse and the barrel in Scotland is similar to the practice in Australia. It became a little bit more intense since they have more horses available in Great Britain. Every day barrel and horse training (sometimes twice a day) is good preparation for the worlds on the borrowed horse Tylers Kernel. The biggest difference for Sarah is the permanent indoor training. In the southern hemisphere she always trains outdoors with her squad. Even competitions are sometimes outside. I don’t think I have heard of that in Central Europe.
How is it possible for the 25-year-old to stay abroad for two months? She is studying vet nursing. Her university offers the option of finishing her courses online while in Scotland. What a great arrangement for athletes. The second challenge is the funding of the long trip. Her federal association helped her as much as possible. To pay the whole adventure she has a fundraising which you can support. Is Sarah nervous? “I am very excited actually, I feel that my training has prepared me very well to know what I need to do and I have every confidence in the horse Tylers Kernel and lunger John Eccles.” We wish you all the best for Le Mans.