Adcote equestrians Katie Hayton (Y9) and her sister Romilly (Y6) competed in the Great British Vaulting team at the European Championships in Le Mans this August. This death-defying sport involves practising gymnastic manoeuvres on horseback. 

Katie reports: 

The crowds lined the arena, flags waving in the breeze. It was time for the competition to start. Team GB were in a good position on the first day of the junior compulsories. 

I waited nervously to go in; today was an important day. We had been training the whole year for this so we wanted it to go to plan. Suddenly, we heard an enormous cheer from the audience; that must mean the other team had finished, so we prepared to run in. This is when the nerves really kick in; the moment before you step into the arena is the worst. Throughout the start of the compulsories, I kept my head down, trying to focus on what I needed to do. My turn….The other competitors were so good! We were met by cheers from the audience as we ran out.

The GB junior team did an amazing job, but top of the tables, as always, was the German team. After the freestyles the next day, team GB finished an overall 11th place. 

A review from Vaulting News: 

Great Britain: Looks like a young squad from another small vaulting nation. They started with some music interpretation on the ground and were not able to continue on the horse. Though, they showed all their exercises and went through well with a few uncertainties.

And for the winners!

Germany: This was German accuracy in perfection. All arm movements were so synchronous and the static exercises so secure. With no small flyer they showed many difficult double exercises. The six static triples were used but not so high up like we have seen from other junior teams.