Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2024




Strong performances by the women's and men's U.S. vaulters entertained a nearly sold-out Alltech Arena during the second individual phase of competition during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games on Thursday, Oct. 7. Mary McCormick leads the U.S. effort, followed by Alicen Divita in ninth place and 2006 WEG Aachen gold medalist Megan Benjamin in 11th place.

After the compulsory round, the U.S. team took an early lead in the team vaulting competition at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. On Oct. 6, the United States scored 7,207 to lead over perennial powerhouses Germany (6,996) and Austria (6,990).

“We went out there, and we just took charge,” said Devon Maitozo, coach and team member of the U.S. team, the Free Artists Creative Equestrians. “I feel like we did one of the best sets we’ve ever done. I saw people reaching their potential in a lot of places and very few mistakes.

In this monthly series leading up to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in September and October, we watch a different competitor each month prepare for competition.

Winning an individual gold medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games had been Megan Benjamin’s goal for years. So when she stood atop the podium and looked at the gold medal hanging around her neck at the 2006 WEG, her mind spun.

The Coast Line Vaulters of Santa Cruz, Calif., captured a team bronze medal for the United States at the Vaulting World Championships, Aug. 4-8 in Stadl-Paura, Austria. Mari Inouye of Palo Alto, Calif., also finished seventh individually in the women's competition, and Devon Maitozo of Simi Valley, Calif., was the highest-placed American man, in eighth.

The event was held in the recently renovated Austrian Horse Center in Stadl-Paura, a resort town southwest of Linz. The freshly constructed "Sporthalle," with a capacity of 2,300, played host to the World Championships.


Competitors from 44 clubs gathered at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington for the first USEF/AVA National Championship held in Virginia.

Competition began on July 19, with a funfest for emerging vaulters while all were getting settled in for the four days of competition. Wednesday's Night of Stars highlighted the top-level vaulters with the finals of the A team, gold and silver individual competitions.

In the 1960s, a homemade film of German vaulters inspired a group of Pony Clubbers in Santa Cruz, Calif., to try a new horse sport, and by 1969, Liz Searle and Jeff Ashton Moore had started the American Vaulting Association.

Thirty-five years and many international medals later, with representation on the Federation Equestre Internationale committees and a dramatic increase in the number of vaulting clubs across the nation, AVA members had many reasons to celebrate the anniversary at the annual meeting, March 4-7, again in Santa Cruz.

While temperatures soared in Denver, Colo., the percentage points separating competitors at the SAEquestrian/American Vaulting Association National Championships became smaller and smaller, and, in one case, ceased to exist.

In the race for the women's gold individual championship at the Denver National Western Stock Show Complex, Aug. 7-10, Katie Richie and Pamela Geisler placed consistently well in the two rounds.



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