TBT: Geek vaulting – Heroes take over the ring

I was surfing through the online vaulting universe and came across this picture (taken by Arjen van der Spek) of Lukas Heppler or, as he is most commonly known, Dr. Stephen Strange, the latest addition to the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe).

I don’t really know Lukas, but his impersonation of Dr. Strange tells me that he might be my kind of person. And, because I have nothing better to do and like to spend my time watching old vaulting videos and searching for pictures, I give you a selection of my favorite nerdy / fantasy-related freestyles.

Before we move on, though, here is a recommendation for you:

If you haven’t watched them yet, don’t miss Wonder Woman and Spiderman Homecoming, both are available in the movies as we speak. GREAT GREAT GREAT entertainment.

BTW, before we start, if you have already seen Wonder Woman, did you also have a feeling that some of those horses in the beginning of the movie were cantering on the wrong rein?

Apart from the last one, which is my favorite, I listed 10 geek vaulting performances following no particular order. Enjoy:

10.Daria Gallo as Supergirl

Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El, is featured on DCs/CW series universe as Supergirl together with The Flash and The Green Arrow. I consider this to be a bold theme choice for young Daria Gallo, who represents Switzerland, since Supergirl is not the most well-known hero. Therefore her spot on this list is well-deserved. She didn’t use the exact outfit, but she did use the original score for the series. The performance is from the 2016 season and, as we will see shortly, this character was a constant presence that year.

9.Bryony Rawding and Kerri Brylka

Superheroes were a hit on the 2016 season. As one could expect, it was particularly popular among the freshness of our young padawans: the juniors.

Bryony and Kerri, from Great Britain, went for a more traditional approach on the DC front. They chose to use the original soundtracks, as opposed to Daria who went for Supergirl’s original theme, on the other hand, their Supergirl outfit is super cool. They could cosplay it at Comic Con.

The duo finished the European Championships for Jrs in the 5th position and their performance is super solid and shows true athletic skills, but what is most striking about this video though, is that they are clearly super excited to be there and well, nothing else matters beyond that.

PS: I swear that this comment is going to be brief: Let me just say that I love to see that both Wonder Woman and Supergirl are making into the vaulting rings and inspiring young girls to bring forth the superheroes inside of them. We don’t get many female superheroes but the latest Wonder Woman and Supergirl are two very good representations of super women.

8.Erik Oese  as Smeagol

Eric is one of my favorite athletes and this Smeagol impersonation was very neat.
It mixes an incredibly high difficulty with a very challenging theme. If we think about it, it dates from the beginning of the recent artistic vein of vaulting and shows very precise technique. This routine is from the season when Erik finished the World Championships in Le Mans with the silver medal.

7.Kristina Boe as Rey from Star Wars.


Did I tell you that last year I adopted a dog and named her Rey? That is how much I love this character and all it stands for in terms of woman representation and the overall Star Wars franchise. So I was over the moon with Kristina’s choice to go for Star Wars- no pun intended.


6.Kristina Boe – Bellatrix Lestrange

Kristina Boe should just pick everyone’s themes from now on. For the season of 2014, she chose to impersonate one of the most iconic hated characters of the Harry Potter saga: Bellatrix Lestrange. The German vaulter even made a temporary death mark on her wrist. It seems as if Miss Boe is quite a fantasy fan.

5.Ecuries du Petit Dan – Superhero Zone

The Écuries du Petit Dan is a French squad and our associate Charlotte Rimaud is among their squad members.

They won the CVI Belgium this year in the 2* Senior Category but it was in 2016 that they brought us this amazing superhero reunion, bringing together DC and Marvel characters. By the way: I see another Supergirl there.

4.Juan Martin Clavijo – The Joker

Our young South American World Champion presented this Joker routine at the Sr Worlds last year, a small technical test diversion before going back to Jr training to try and defend his world title in Ebreichsdorf in August.

3.Layla and Lucy Fraser – Astronauts

Once again back to the Juniors, here are the Fraser sisters, who last year won Spain their first Championship medal – a bronze at the Junior Europeans.

Well, impersonating astronauts is pretty mainstream today, but still, this is definitely a geek reference. And, to top it up they recorded a few lines for their song – with the help of Daniel Kaiser, as they mentioned in this interview – such as “The Frasers arrive at their destination: Le Mans”. So yes, that little extra definitely makes it geekier, and even more awesome.

2.Lukas Heppler – Dr. Strange

Finally, the reason we are all here: Lukas Heppler as Dr. Stephen Strange.

I really recommend you watching Dr. Strange BTW, it is truly a great movie. I would rank it in my top 5 MCU movies together with the first Avengers, Civil War, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (or 1? not sure yet) and the new Spiderman.

Lukas brings us a very technical performance, very clean indeed! A brilliant theme choice for one of our vaulters to watch this year.

1.Marshall Collins “Young Harry Potter” – Joe Simonds

Last, but not least, I would like to include the little fellow we nicknamed Young Harry Potter from Complete Equestrian Vaulters in Colorado, USA, this picture was one of the contestants at our Best Picture of 2016 poll. It finished the competition in 2nd place and it was taken by Joe Simonds.

Geekyness is in the blood guys!

UPDATES: Your suggestions

Wow! We have received many suggestions to update our list! Here they are:

Denmark I – Harry P otter

This squad from Denmark used Harry Potter as their theme in 2011. They competed at the CHIO Aachen and this well rounded freestyle helped them earn the 11º spot, later that year they competed at the European Championships and finished only one position short of a podium placement (they earned a 4º place with a final score of 7,152).

Jim Roedel – Mile High Vaulters

Another fan suggestion, young Jim Roedel is Luke Skywalker for the season. He competed at the Canada Cup as a junior on CVI2*.

Sarah Kay – Smaug

I hadn’t watched Sarah Kay this year yet, but it was brought to my attention that she is impersonating Smaug, from The Hobit on her freestyle.

A few remarks: 1. The Hobit’s soundtrack is REALLY good for vaulting. My favorite son is “The Last Goodbye“, by Billy Boyd, known for his interpretation of Peregrin – Pippin – Tuk on the main LOTR trilogy. You can watch the video, but be prepared for tears if you are a fan.

2. I am in love with this theme choice. This is as far as I can go. I love it. I think it is perfect.

3. Sarah has officialy qualified for the European Championships to represent Germany, so we can expect to see more of he in August.


I think this is it for now! If you have more suggestions, please keep them coming!


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.