The United States came in first in team compulsory vaulting Wednesday at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, followed by Germany and Austria.
Germany also had the top two vaulters in individual men's compulsory and placed second in individual women's compulsory.
Devon Maitozo, U.S. head coach and one of seven athletes on the team of five women and two men, said: "We feel really good, I feel we've done one of our best sets.
"In watching my team, I saw people reaching their potential in a lot of places and (saw) very few mistakes. No major, major mistakes."
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The U.S. team earned silver at the World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany, in 2006.
As the Americans went leaping out of the ring in traditional vaulting style, the crowd, which has to remain quiet as each vaulter performs, erupted into loud applause.
This is the first major vaulting competition to be held outside of Europe, Maitozo said, adding, "Seeing the American flag, hearing the cheers, it's very inspirational."
In the individual men's compulsory, Germans Gero Meyer and Kai Vorberg took first and second, followed by Patric Looser of Switzerland and Stefan Csandl of Austria.
In the women's compulsory, Joanne Eccles of Great Britain, with multiple championships on her résumé, including the 2009 European championship, placed first.
Simone Wiegele of Germany was second, and Megan Benjamin of the United States, the individual gold medal winner at Aachen, placed third.
Vaulting is a family affair for Eccleses. Joanne's younger sister Hannah competed just before her sister on the same horse, WH Bentley. Their father, John, was lunger for both his daughters.
Ling Yang is China's first vaulter in the World Games. In fact, Yang said, she is the first Chinese athlete in any equestrian sport to be in the championship games.
After she vaulted, Yang said: "This is like icing on the cake for this whole trip. My family is here. My grandmothers arrived yesterday. My new nephew arrived today. It was really nice to go out there and show them what I've done."
Yang has vaulted since she was 3 years old but didn't start to compete internationally until about a year ago.
Vaulting is a sport in which young athletes are a fairly common sight.
The youngest vaulter, and the youngest participant in WEG, was Robin Krause, 9, of the French team, who has been vaulting about five years and has a brother and a sister who vault.
The next round of competition will be individual men's and women' freestyle vaulting beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday in Alltech Arena.