More than 350 competitors from at least 20 states came to the Kentucky Horse Park's Alltech Arena to compete in the National Vaulting Championships which ended Sunday. In all, 10 U.S. Equestrian Federation national titles were up for grabs, with three in team, individual female and individual male categories each, and a pairs or pas de deux competition as well in the sport sometimes referred to as gymnastics on horseback.
National team honors went to Mt. Eden Sun Team of Saratoga, Calif., with their horse Urfreund Rosengaard. Blake Dahlgren and Megan Benjamin of the Los Angeles Equestrian Vaulting Club earned the title of national pas de deux champions. National Women's title went to veteran Mary McCormick of Mt. Eden Vaulting and National Men's title went to Patrick Roberts of Half Moon Bay Vaulters of Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Several Kentucky vaulters were participating in their first national competition, including Meadow Lake Equestrian Center Vaulting Club of Lancaster. Asbury College Vaulting Club of Wilmore also competed in the Nationals. Vaulting com.
In competitive vaulting, athletes perform artistic movements individually or in groups while on horseback. Teams of six vaulters compete together, with up to three at a time on the horse, who trots or canters in a circle while the athletes leap on and off. For complete results from Sunday's competition, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.