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Emily steps back into the ring

Emily steps back into the ring

After spending time off from her passion of Equestrian Vaulting, Emily Leadbeater of Cockatoo Valley decided to step back into the ring for the South Australian Equestrian Vaulting State Championships earlier this month.

Emily explained that earlier in the year she had a series of misfortunes with her horses. 

Her original horse was unfit to compete, and her second horse suffered an injury.

It was a generous offer from Gawler resident, Bob Henning, which gave Emily the opportunity to compete, with his horse, McGuiness ‘Fred’. 

“We were super lucky, and so grateful, because Fred is a veteran in the vaulting world, so his owner was very kind to offer him to us,” said Emily. 

Emily said that she only trained for six weeks leading into the competition, two of which were on Fred. 

“I’m pretty stoked to achieve what I did considering the short time,” she said. 

The average vaulter would spend between eight and nine months preparing for a competition. 

“I think when you have horse problems and you have to switch from horse to horse, it makes you a better vaulter because you have to adapt,” she said. 

Despite her limited time to train, Emily came third in her advanced category.

“I was kind of expecting to come last, but I had accepted that considering the circumstance,” she said.

“I was just happy to be back in the ring.”

Emily explained that the competition ran over two days, with two rounds of performing in ‘Compulsory’ and ‘Freestlye.’

Compulsory involved a strict set of seven moves, which are critiqued according to technical ability. 

Freestyle allows the vaulter one minute to perform a sequence of moves to music. 

Artistic influence, the difficulty of each move, the technical ability and how well the music is used are all elements that the judges watched. 

For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.