Britain’s Joanne Eccles (pictured) is in second after the freestyle round in the individual female vaulting at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Joanne performed her freestyle to Elton John’s Candle In The Wind, dressed all in gold. She has used this programme about six times internationally this year.
“I missed out one of the really difficult movements today because when I stood up I wasn’t as stable as normal, maybe because it was my first time in this arena doing my freestyle,” she said.
Nevertheless, Joanne scored 8.39, the fourth best mark awarded in her class today and enough to leave her in silver position when combined with her leading score from yesterday’s compulsory round.
The top 15 vaulters after today go through to the next round. The final consists of a technical test tomorrow afternoon, plus a freestyle on Saturday, after which the medals are awarded.
Lucy Phillips also made the cut for Britain, finishing the round in 12th place after breaking the eight-barrier for the first time with her freestyle, performed to Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life.
“I think it was my mental focus [that helped me do a personal best] — I’ve been doing loads of psychology,” she said. “Before I went I felt a little bit nervous but I was thinking, ‘I want to do it’. I didn’t think of anything bad happening.
“I like this music because it lets me show the two sides of vaulting, I like to be graceful at the start then I can show my strength when the beat kicks in.”
Britain’s third female vaulter, Joanne’s sister Hannah Eccles, just missed out on qualifying for the next round after finishing 16th. She said her routine — performed for the first time to the theme tune from the film I, Robot — was a bit messy today.
Germany’s Simone Wiegele has taken the lead in the female contest, just 0.07 ahead of Joanne.
Ross Foreman through to male final
Britan’s male individual Ross Foreman was stunned to have moved up two places after slipping off his horse, Master Key, in his second move, a side stand.
“I made up a freestyle as I went along,” said Ross, who was dressed as the Joker from Batman. “I think the judges thought that was the plan — I kept smiling, so they were none the wiser.”
Ross now lies ninth so is qualified for the next round, while Switzerland’s Patric Looser has risen two places to head the male competition at this stage.
As well as the individual technical test, tomorrow’s vaulting programme also includes the second round of the team contest, the freestyle.
Log back on tomorrow for more updates on the vaulting. Full report in H&H out 14 October.