SCOTTISH EQUESTRIAN VAULTING TEAM
Vaulting is the unusual sport of gymnastics on the back of a cantering horse. It is a huge sport on the continent but is only now becoming a truly recognised sport in Great Britain
SEVT was formed in 1996, with the aim of producing a team capable of competing internationally. The squad was made up of the 4 vaulting groups in Scotland; Lauderdale, Sheildbank, Gleneagles and Highland.
Mannheim at the World Vaulting Championships. The vaulters are: sitting Collete Smith, Standing Daniel Mackay and upside down Joanne Eccles. The horse is Wilster.
In 1997 the Team achieved its first goal. They were selected to compete at the European Championships held in Achean, The team competed on Jenny Leggates experienced team horse Kim and achieved a well-deserved 11th place.
In 1998 the team continued well, they won the first selection trial again on Kim and then set off to France to compete in an international competition, this time the team competed on the reserve horse Atrisco, they performed well and gained a 6th place.
This was good enough for the team to be selected to represent Great Britain at the World Equestrian Games in Rome.
The team was then informed that Kim was not to travel to Rome and so it was decided that a new team horse would be necessary, Atrisco was a good individual horse but was only 7 years old and not ready to carry a team at World Games level.
A new horse was found and trained by Jenny Leggate, his name was Go North and he was an experienced show jumper and with his willing temperament and good attitude he proved to be an ideal team horse.
SEVT finished in 12th place at the World Games, this was no mean feat as the horse had only been vaulting 5 months and the team was still inexperienced in comparison to most other counties.
1999 was another European year and the team started well again winning both selection trials and also finishing in 5th place at the international competition in France. The team was again selected to represent Great Britain this time in Nitra, Slovakia.
It was decided that team horse Go North would not travel to Slovakia so team coach Anita Flammand found an Austrian horse for the team to compete on.
Unfortunately one team member had an accident during the competition, this meant the team had to use their reserve vaulter, despite the difficult conditions the team performed well and finished 9th.
Later in the year the team put up a very polished professional performance at the British Championships back on board Go North to win the Advanced Team class and become British Champions.
The aim for 2000 was the World Championships in Mannheim Germany.
The year stared with Go North being out of action due to lameness but fortunately one team Dad, John Eccles had a suitable replacement in Fly by Night (Barney).
Barney had a steep learning curve, in 2 months he learnt to carry the team as well as being the mount of Hannah Macgillivary who was vaulting as an individual for the club.
The team performed well at the first selection trials and gained a qualifying score for the world championships; the Team then set of to Saumur in France for the annual competition there.
Barneys inexperienced showed here, unfortunately it is a very small arena and the crowds are very close all this proved very nerve racking for a young horse, however the team performed well getting into the second round and again gained a high enough score, to continue in there aim to go to Mannheim.
In June of 2000 Britain held its own international 2** competition at Morton Morell.
The pressure was on the team to perform well on home ground, this they did in fine style and with a much-improved freestyle performance they held off strong competition from the Dutch team for a well-deserved 1st place.
Hannah Macgillivary continued the teams success with a superb individual performance to win the female individual competition on Barney and also to finish in 2nd place on Julie Macnallys horse Bowler, the first ever female individual to win a CVI**.
The team was then selected to represent Great Britain at the World Championships. Training was going well when a terrible accident led to Barney being unable to travel to the Championships.
The team was very disappointed but team coach, Anita, again found an able replacement for the team in an Austrian horse called Wilster. The team was based in Austria for 2 weeks training on their new mount before going to Mannheim.
SEVT put up superb performance to finish with the highest score any British Team had ever scored and 10th place in the world.
Hannah was also competing on Bowler as an individual and missed out on the second round by one place having finished in 16th place; this was the highest place ever for a British female at World Championships.
The team returned home to compete at the British Championships back on board Go North and put in a polished performance to retain the title of British Champions.
Hannah, again competing on Bowler put in a strong performance to win the title of Female Individual champion but unfortunately broke her leg on her final dismount!
The team finished the excellent year with an amazing performance at the Olympia Horse Show at Christmas. This was an incredible experience for the two horses Go North and new recruit ILPH Conkeffy Black and the vaulters, as the atmosphere in the arena was electric. Luckily the horses behaved beautifully and the vaulters showed the audience the little known sport of Vaulting.
2001 has been a difficult year due to foot and mouth, luckily the new gymnastics coach Don McKenzie managed to keep the vaulters fitness and flexibility levels up and when they were allowed back on the horses the looked much fitter and stronger. The team did manage to attend the selection trials for the European Championships in Poland, and put in a strong performance again on Go North.
Hannah Magillivary this time on ILPH Conkeffy Black also performed well in the individual class, as did Philip Beasley competing as an individual on Go North.
Hannah and Philip were both deservedly selected to attend the European Championships in Poland.
Poland was a great success for Philip, although his first horse failed the vet he was given the opportunity to vault on Julie Macnallys horse Bowler. He performed extremely well and finished the competition in 10th place.
Hannah was also competing on Bowler an unfortunate slip in her freestyle was her only mistake and she finished in 24th place.
British Equestrian Vaulting this year decided not to send a team to the European Championships. Instead the SEVT are headed to Sweden to an International competition in Malmo with the hope of gaining a qualifying score for the World Equestrian Games in Spain.
This the team did in great style, although not with out its dramas. Team horse Go North was stung by an insect an had a huge allergic reaction, the only option to relieve the horse was a cortisone injection. Chef d`equipe Jenny Leggate informed the organisers what had happened and luckily the allowed us to compete HC. The team went first each day and they recieved scores from each judge. They put in a foot perfect performance and finished the weekend with a score of 6.723. This has shown that next year the Scots will be a team to watch in the run up to the World Games
On the 13th and 14th of October the British Championships are to be held in Yorkshire at the Richmond Equestrian Centre. The team is hoping to retain the Advanced Team Trophy. Hannah will be out in force to defend her title and Philip Beasley is hoping to take home the male champion title,
The team are looking ahead to 2002 with Spain as their main focus, the vaulters are hoping to attend 2 other international competition throughout the year so as to gain more experience against the other European countries where the unusual sport is far more developed.
Jenny Leggate and John Eccles deserve a special mention for the use of their wonderful horses not only Go North and Barney but also Henry, Softie and especially Kim who really started the whole thing off and without his experience the team would not be where it is today.
The team are always keen to do as many demonstrations throughout the year as possible as this is the best preparation for the major competitions. Although based in Scotland the Team are the only one in Great Britain that can show Team vaulting at International level and are very prepared to travel.
The team is totally self funded as they cannot gain lottery support due to vaulting not being an olympic discipline. The team are also always looking for keen owners for there truly amazing horses and if anyone has a horse of Elementary level or above with a calm temperament that they feel would like a change of career then feel free to get in touch.