Johannes Kay: Winds of change blowing in Team Neuss

Johannes Kay has been part of Team Neuss Sr since 2014, when he won the gold medal at the World Equestrian Games. Remember that?

Since then, he has become more and more important to the squad both as a vaulter and as a leader. He is so important that when the club decided to restructure their main squad in 2016, Johannes stayed to help the new generation give its first steps. But after one year, he is moving forward to new projects and kindly updates us on what is going on with Team Neuss and what we can expect from them this season.

If you enjoy reading about Team Neuss, this is not the first time we have talked to them! Check out these other interviews we did: Interview with Johannes Kay right after the WEGs in 2014, Learning to Fly with Jessica Lichtenberg and Learning to Fly with Pauline Riedl.


1.In 2016 you guys started a new team almost from scratch, it seemed to be somewhat a transition season; New team, new coach… What are the plans for this year? What can we expect from Neuss now? Do you have big plans for the Jr World’s? Europeans?

Yes, 2016 was something like a transition year. But I also see it as a “entrance” year for the new generation. Like you said, new team, new coach… In 2017 we will make this straight. A new wind blows in our Senior Squad now, a younger wind that comes with a lot of energy. All the “old people” are gone and gave place for a new generation. The goals are clear; fully accelerate and gain experience. We will see what happens next.

2. How is your relationship with Noroc? Are you still working together? Thinking about the work you did together, in what do you think they have contributed to Neuss and how were you able to help them?

Team Neuss and Team Noroc are very good buddies. Although they did not visit us this winter, Jacques was here with a few French vaulters. We complement each other very well. We give them technique and fitness and we get a little bit from Jaques creative know-how.

3. What about the horse situation? Delia was at her peak a few seasons ago, but in 2016 it seemed like you were having trouble with horses. How is this today? Do you have new horses in the house or are you borrowing for the individuals?

Since I do not vault in the senior team anymore, I do not know any precise details about Delia. We gave her a long time to recover lately. When I saw her during training not long ago she seemed very fit. Yes, we have a super new member named Diamond Sky who we will begin training little by little.

4. Speaking about yourself, what are your plans for 2017 as a vaulter? We see that you are officially listed as an individual, so what are you hoping to achieve on your debut season?

I will to begin to compete as a senior individual calmly in 2017. I concentrate on pas de deux. That’s my main focus.

Which is amazing and this VaultingNews blogger is very excited! This is an opportunity to remind you that Johannes and Janika Derks won the prize for Best PDD at our poll last year.

But I like individual as well and I still have many ideas of what I would like to do in the circle. But as I said, I will use the first year as an access year without any big goals.

5. What led you to make the decision to leave the team at this particular moment?

In the beginning of 2016 I already knew that there would be a change in 2017 for me. It was simply right. In 2016 I wanted to give the new ones some safety and give them some of my experiences to take along. By the end of 2016, I finished their apprenticeship. This was a perfect ending for me. I reached everything I wanted. This gives me a very good feeling to go along and try new things.


I am a 27 years old psychologist from Brazil, although I have graduated in psychology I work with media and communications, with a focus on data analysis. I am currently heading towards a master's degree at the London School of Economics (LSE). I am not vaulting anymore, but I did for over 10 years. As it very often happens in our sport, I never really left, I taught at a social project for a few years and have been working on VN since 2014.