Local equestrians gearing up for the 2016 season started their preparation at the Kingston Polo Club, Caymanas Estates, over the weekend, with showjumpers in particular introduced to a new discipline – vaulting.
Since last Friday, visiting FEI representative Emma Seely from California in the United States conducted a three-day workshop to familarise showjumpers with vaulting, one of seven disciplines in international competitions except the Olympics.
Vaulting, she explained, is akin to gymnastics on horseback, but it requires intense training (initially on a barrell) to develop the skill. Seely said the workshop started last Friday with the older and more experienced showjumpers such as Jason Walter, Susan Wates, Lexie Wates, Denise Cole, Nabila Khouri, and Maelle Johnston, then moving to the children on Saturday and finally back with the older participants yesterday.
“The response was good,” disclosed Seely. “Being introduced to vaulting for the first time, the participants were curious at first, but they soon got the hang of it, regarding basic movements on a horse, as well as get-fit exercises, and in the end they were quite keen and receptive,” added Seely, who has had vast experience in this area of the sport spanning 35 years.