The British vaulters for this year’s World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Tryon, USA (11-23 September) have been named. This is the first British squad to be announced ahead of WEG.

Squad:

English Vaulting Squad with Ben Aucott’s British-bred Demezza, lunged by Julie Newell

  • Imogen Bexon
  • Ricky Davies
  • Romilly Hayton
  • Carys Morgan
  • Lucy Phillips
  • Sara Shortland
  • Luke Smith

The squad also has the British-bred River Of Thyme, owned by Julie Newell and previously by Mr and Mrs Tibbetts, selected as a reserve horse, with reserve lunger Suzi Cusick.

Individual female:

Rebecca Norval will compete on a borrowed horse at the event

Lucy Phillips with Ben Aucott’s Demezza, lunged by Julie Newell

Lucy will be making her fourth WEG appearance, while Rebecca makes her WEG debut after receiving her first senior call-up at the 2015 European Championships.

Lucy Phillips vaulting on Pitucelli with her mother Elizabeth lunging her at the 2014 WEG. Picture by Peter Nixon

Vaulting chef d’equipe Jane Eccles said: “It’s fantastic to have such a strong team selected for Tryon and a really exciting time, with some athletes making their WEG debuts. There have been some really positive results this year, for both the squad and our two individual vaulters, and we look forward to making the journey out to the Games later this summer.”

Jane’s daughter Joanne Eccles is the current WEG individual female title holder, taking the gold for Britain at WEG 2014, where she also secured pas de deux bronze with sister Hannah.

Joanne Eccles takes individual gold in the female vaulting at WEG 2014. Picture by Peter Nixon

WEG takes place every four years and brings together World Championships in the three Olympic equestrian disciplines — eventing, dressage and showjumping — as well as paradressage, vaulting, reining, driving and endurance.

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The vaulting takes place during the second week of WEG and includes competitions for individual males and females, squads and pairs (pas de deux). In addition, there is a nations team competition, for which freestyle results from three “units” from the same country are added together. A team must include at least one squad or pas de deux.

Vaulting is best described as gymnastics on a moving horse. The horse is lunged in canter on a circle at least 15m in diameter while the vaulters perform movements on its back and jumping on and off.

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