Bluffers’ guide to vaulting at WEG

  • As we countdown to the FEI World Equestrian Games, we bring you all you need to know about each of the equestrian sports.

    What’s the format?

    Vaulting is best described as gymnastics on a moving horse. The horse is lunged in canter on a circle at least 15m in diameter.

    There are four different competitions in the WEG vaulting — male and female individual, pas de deux and squad.

    The male and female individual competitions start with a compulsory competition, in which the vaulters perform eight set movements. This is followed by a 60sec freestyle to music. These two events make up round one.

    Only the top 15 after round one go through to the next two competitions, which form round two. There is a technical test — again this is a 60 sec freestyle to music but it has to include five specific moves which are individually scored and show ability in each of the following five areas: jump force, timing and rhythm, suppleness, balance and strength.

    The final competition is another freestyle, using the same music, but clothing and movements can vary.

    Competitors in the pas de deux perform two freestyles. Only the top 12 contest the second round.

    The squad competition is for seven vaulters and in the compulsory they each perform eight set movements. Then six vaulters for each team take part in the freestyle with up to three individuals on the horse at one time. The top 12 teams go through to the final freestyle.

    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.

    How does the scoring work?

    There are eight judges at WEG. Each test is scored out of 10, with 25% of the mark being for the horse.

    The scores are then divided by the number of tests (so four for the individual male and female competitions, three for the squads and two for the pas de deux) to give an average mark out of 10.

    The highest score wins.

    How many medals are there and when are they awarded?

    There is a set of medals for each of the five competitions (male and female individual, squads, pas de deux, nations team). The lunger receives a medal as well as the vaulters. Medals will be awarded on 19 (nations team), 20 (pas de deux) and 22 (individual and squad) September.

    Who’s representing Britain?

    See details of the British squad here.

    Do they have a chance?

    Britain has won vaulting medals at the past two World Equestrian Games, courtesy of Joanne and Hannah Eccles, but since the sisters’ retirement (they are still involved in the sport and compete as lungers), Team GB has enjoyed fewer high profile results.

    When will H&H report it?

    H&H’s WEG reports will run in 20 and 27 September issues of the magazine.

    We will also carry reports, pictures and video online throughout the competition. Find all our online WEG coverage here >>

    For an early look at the WEG venue, turn to p34 of 18 January issue of Horse & Hound magazine. The full WEG preview will be on sale on Thursday 6 September.

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