FEI Vaulting Seminar in Belgium Hosts Participants from 17 Nations
RELEASE: February 22, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Malina Gueorguiev
The Annual FEI Vaulting Seminar was hosted by the Belgian National Federation and a most competent organizing committee in Ostende last weekend. Almost 50 participants made the trip to the Belgian coast for three days of presentations, practical sessions and workshops. Judges and national trainers from a myriad of nations were present, including: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden and the United States.
The first day was dedicated to the scoring of the horse score with Stephen Clarke of Great Britain, official international dressage judge working extensively with the group on recognizing and assessing the working canter. Following an overview of the role, responsibilities and remit of the judge, the afternoon was spent in the Arovo Equestrian Centre guiding participants through a well structured and focused practical session centered on observing and scoring horses, both ridden and lunged with vaulters.
On Saturday, Erich Breiter of Austria, official international vaulting judge, spoke extensively and in great depth on biomechanics. Particular emphasis was placed on identifying and monitoring the displacement of the center of gravity and indeed the many factors to be considered in order to achieve and optimize harmony between vaulter and horse. The morning’s theory was subsequently applied to judging the degree of difficulty in the freestyle class from a series of superbly prepared DVD footage.
Emma Garrod Seely of the United States, Chairwoman of the FEI Vaulting Committee, presented a first draft of the new technical exercises to come into effect next year: the Stand Split in the Loop (to replace the Needle) and the Wheelbarrow (to replace the Shoulder Stand). The purpose of this presentation was to allow for discussion and commentary from the assembled judges and trainers in order to prepare a further draft to be sent out to all National Federations in the coming months. It transpired that some of the description would require further clarification and a modified version integrating the feedback and including sketches would be prepared by the Committee.
Jean Michel Pinel of France gave a brief presentation on the brain’s capacity to observe, and assess criteria within a set timeframe, as is required of vaulting judges, for example. A presentation which certainly provided plenty of food for thought.
Glenn Maes of Belgium spoke about the current status of vaulting within Belgium and their hopes and aspirations for it’s continued and future development.
Nici Kennedy of Ireland, Manager of the FEI Vaulting Department, gave a presentation outlining the strategic developments within the department.
The FEI Vaulting Department's goals for 2008 may be summarized as follows:Professionalize the Sport
It was explained that to enable the forthcoming medium to long-term strategies being drawn up for the department to enhance and pro-actively present the values unique to vaulting that standards of excellence would be aimed for in all levels of activity in an effort to bring vaulting in line with other disciplines and to definitively establish its position as an FEI discipline.Rules and Guidelines
—Future unneccesary rule change would be avoided.
—Timeline of 2008 revision of vaulting rules.
—National Federation's proposal for modifications: January-February 08
—Vaulting Committee Meeting: April 7, Interlacken (SUI)
—Draft Sport Rules sent to National Federations: end of April
—Comments from National Federations on drafts: mid-June
—HQ & TC to discuss comments: Summer-Fall
—Final version of Sport Rules sent to National Federations: October
—GA: Adoption Sport Rules: November
—New rules effective: January 09