COMBINING their gymnastic talents with a love of horses has earned four south-west athletes success at a state competition on the weekend.
Birgit Krossman, Amy van Someren, Lisa van Someren and Ella Cameron have immersed themselves in the unique sport of vaulting this year.
The sport involves individuals, pairs and teams executing gymnastics routines aboard either a horse or a stationary barrel.
The four, aged between eight and 26, have honed their skills at Kirkstall-based Van Someren Equestrian for the past year.
They travelled to Sunbury’s Sugargum Farm to train under some of the best vaulters in the country on Saturday before competing on Sunday.
Lisa and Birgit placed first in the barrel pairs and third in the horse pairs in their class. They also earned success at an individual level.
Lisa took out her barrel freestyle and was second in horse freestyle. Birgit won her horse freestyle class and placed second in her barrel freestyle class.
Ella, the youngest member of the team, was second in her horse freestyle section and third in barrel freestyle.
The four then combined to place second in the squads event, which asks them to complete a six-minute routine.
Their coach, Sharyn van Someren, said the girls had trained up to four times a week leading into the competition.
“Ella Cameron is our flyer and that’s the little person who gets put up top and does the suspension work for the horse and barrel,” she said.
Van Someren said her daughters Lisa and Amy started vaulting after originally wanting to get involved with trick riding.
“That’s where your horse gallops flat out and you do somersaults in a straight line at a full gallop,” she said.
“When the girls came to me and said they wanted to do that, I said ‘I don’t think so, how about we do vaulting as a compromise’.