Freedom Acrobatics coach Alisa Schmidt (in blue/red) with Delta native Cassie Sponchia during the Pas de Deux competition at last weekend’s Canada Cup equestrian vaulting event. MARION P. COX PHOTO

Freedom Acrobatics vaulters represent Canada at international event

Chilliwack’s Alisa Schmidt did well, earning 3 qualifying scores for the World Equestrian Games.

About 80 vaulters from throughout North America were in Chilliwack last weekend for the 2018 Canada Cup.

Vaulting is a sport which combines acrobatics with horseback riding.

The country’s only international qualifying competition in the lead-up to September’s World Equestrian Games, the Canada Cup at Heritage Park saw athletes competing in three levels sanctioned by the International Equestrian Federation. Vaulters at the highest level had a shot at obtaining the minimum qualifying scores required by the IEF for entry into the World Games.

Freedom Acrobatics (Chilliwack) head coach Alisa Schmidt threw her hat in the ring in three events, posting qualifying scores across the board.

Abord her horse, Promise, Schmidt was the second highest scoring Canadian in the senior individual event. Working with lunger Lisa Coates, she placed fourth in the individual technical test and sixth overall.

Schmidt teamed with Delta native Cassie Sponchia to place third overall in the Pas de Deux event, where two vaulters perform at the same time on one horse (Promise). Again lunged by Coates, they earned two ranking scores for the World Games.

Schmidt competed with five other vaulters in the squad event, where up to three vaulters at a time perform on the horse. The squad had their best performance of the season, capturing gold for Canada and earning additional qualifying points for the World Games.

Two younger members of Freedom Acrobatics represented their country.

Samantha Kennedy, in her first season of international level competition, captured bronze in the children’s event for vaulters 12-14 years of age. Railey Bird competed in the junior division for vaulters 14-18 years of age, placing fifth in the freestyle class and seventh overall.

The next appearance for local vaulters will be June 22-24 when Chilliwack hosts the Summer Classic at Heritage Park. One hundred B.C. vaulters are expected to attend that event, many of them seeking to represent Canada at the World Games.

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