Freedom Acrobatics vaulters excel in equestrian event

The Chilliwack club took on competitors from across North America, hosting the best of the best at Heritage Park.

  • Jun. 2, 2016 5:00 p.m.

Over 20 local vaulters from Freedom Acrobatics enjoyed home circle advantage at the 2016 Canada Cup and Future Champions equestrian vaulting events, held last weekend at Heritage Park. The competition drew almost 200 North American entries and was one of only two internationally-sanctioned vaulting events on the continent this season.

Freedom’s Team Skyfall earned their highest scores ever competing in the 3* group, the top international level.

Darla Ricka, Chelsey Wensley, Taylor Eamor, Alisa Schmidt, Railey Bird and Samantha Kennedy performed a four minute routine, earning the top ranking in the first round. They rode on  Promise, a horse lunged by Lisa Coates.

Ricka and Schmidt went on to win the 3* pas de deux (pairs) competition, riding on Promise (lunged by Barb Schmidt).

Eamor then teamed with Cassie Sponchia from the Westcoast Vaulters to win the 2* (intermediate) event and place second in the 3* pairs class.

In the individual 2* division for international level vaulters, Wensley took the bronze medal for Canada.

This competition was not only for the elite international competition.

From tiny tots to provincial level canter classes, the local club was well represented.

Their provincial level canter team, Hogworts, using a Harry Potter theme, placed second in their class with a personal best score thanks to the efforts of Jocey Vanderlende, Hannah Campbell, Raven Schmidt, Railey Bird, Trinity Smadello and Shaylee Issac-Edwards. The team performed aboard Rosie, lunged by Eamor.

Freedom’s beginner canter team, using a Nightmare Before Christmas theme, also had a personal best score, taking gold in their class. Team members are Kaileigh O’Hanley, Stephanie Struys, Emma Eidsness, Brooke Carter, Emma Donegan and Ava Burgener.

They competed aboard both Promise and Rosie, lunged by Eamor.

Another gold medal went to Freedom’s trot team with their Jungle Book themed freestyle. Team members are Mary Coates, Ashley Dykstra, Jordan Sandulak, Jessica VanNuys, Jake Campbell and Amaya Burgener.

Their mount was Rosie, lunged by Eamor.

Many Freedom Acrobatics students also had excellent results in the individual and pairs classes.

In these competitions vaulters perform both compulsory exercises and at least one freestyle routine.

At the intermediate canter level Samantha Kennedy place second in both freestyle rounds aboard Picasso, lunged by Barb Schmidt.

In beginner trot, Jessica VanNuys earned a first place ribbon while teammate Jordan Sandulak placed second.

Jake Campbell was second in compulsories.

Their horse was Picasso, lunged by Tonya Roy.

Vienna Schubert, in her first competitive appearance, placed fifth in intermediate walk compulsories aboard Kilkenny lunged by Schmidt.

Another new Freedom competitor, Miliha Virk, vaulted on Ziggy (lunged by Roy).

Virk was third in her freestyle class on the stationary barrel and fourth overall on the horse in the beginner walk category.

In the walk pairs division Freedom was represented by three duos. O’Hanley and Struys placed second overall, Kennedy and Bird were third and Smadello and Isaac-Edwards placed fourth.

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