You probably know, that these days an international vaulting team consists of SIX vaulters, one lunger and one horse. It also possible to register 1 or 2 alternate substitutes at the show office. They can join the team before it entered the competition arena the first time.
The question came up during yesterday’s European championships for seniors. The Russian team registered six vaulters for both of their squads (junior and senior) plus one alternating vaulter.
Unfortunately they had some trouble with the visas for the European Union / Schengen Area. Two of their athletes were not allowed to enter Austria.
Since they had 11 vaulters registered in Ebreichsdorf they decided to fill the junior squad and compete with five vaulters among the seniors. It looks like equestrian vaulting is pretty tolerant here:
Article 712 TYPE OF COMPETITIONS
1. Squad Vaulting Competition
1.1. A Vaulting Squad is composed of the Lunger, Horse and six Vaulters.
1.2. All six Vaulters must perform all tests. If less than six Vaulters perform in the Compulsory Test, all Exercises not shown will receive a zero. In the Free Test for each Vaulter not competing a deduction will be given (see Guidelines).
The deduction in the freestyle will be 1 or 2 points.
I think it was the right decision to compete anyway. It helps the lungers, horses and vaulters to gain experience. Even if the freestyle won’t be perfect, they invested so much training, time in money that it would be too bad if they would miss this competition.
They have more bad luck during this event. The horse of the senior team did not seem completely fit today and has to be reinspected tomorrow morning. Let’s hope it is well.
Side note without getting too political: I have no clue why they got no visa. Vaulting fans from outside Europe told me that they thought it would be pretty easy to get one for Russians into Europe. I guess it is not. There are many sanctions from the European Union against Russia because of the Crimea annexation. And I also think that it is not always said that Russians get a visa for the European Union. We are not that close.